It turns out that, in solidarity with the atrocity in Sinai, the Library of Birmingham decked itself in the colours of the Egyptian flag. Why ever might the city fathers do that? Because B'ham is home to the largest concentration of Muslims in Britain. 22% of the Metro 2 million identify as Believers, edging out non-believers at 19%. Christians are still the majority at 46% but not in the majority, if you get my meaning. Especially not if practice is accounted: only 800,000 = 1.4% English people attend the Church of England regularly. The Brummy Library otoh is the largest public library in the UK having been opened only 4 years ago right in the city centre adjacent to the Civic Offices. In the plaza outside is a lovely simple sculptural tribute [below] to John Baskerville the typographer who lived on the site causing the current building to be named Baskerville House. The sculpture simply prints virgil in massive 'type' of bronze letters on white Portland stone plinths. The word is flanked by two mutton quads = em quads = big spaces which have "Industry & Genius" carved on the side of one and John Baskerville on the side of the other:
Dicite, quandoquidem in molli consedimus herba.
et nunc omnis ager, nunc omnis parturit arbos,
nunc frondent silvae, nunc formosissimus annus.Classics MIT translation
Say on then, since on the greensward we sit,
And now is burgeoning both field and tree;
Now is the forest green, and now the year
At fairest.John Dryden paraphrase
The trees are clothed with leaves, the fields with grass;
The blossoms blow; the birds on bushes sing;
And Nature has accomplished all the spring.
If we could have more birds n bushes and fewer guns n mosques, I feel we'd ALL be happier.