Rotten Day for the Library

Library evacuated due to sewer leakage that smelt like ‘fish and piss’, on the same day that they featured on BBC 6pm News headline for spending £1.4m on art in the new wing. Not the best day for the Bill Bryson…


Library evacuated after sewer leakage that smelt like ‘fish and piss’, on the same day that they featured on BBC 6pm News headline for spending £1.4m on art in the new wing. Not the best day for the Bill Bryson…

Today Palatinate’s front page story hit national headlines as BBC News, BBC Look North and Mail Online reported on the ‘disgrace’ of the university’s recent £1.4 million splurge on art.

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Slammed by DSU President Archie Dallas, the uni was criticised for spending ‘appalling’ amounts on art when the money could haven been better spent on student facilities or bursaries.

And today’s drama has revealed that the money could certainly have been put to better use, fixing the library’s sewage system, after Levels 1 and 2 of the Bill Bryson Library had to be evacuated earlier this evening.

Students posted about the drama on the Facebook group ‘Spotted: Durham University Library’.

A post on the group earlier this evening

A post on the group earlier this evening

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And it seems something fishy has been going on in the library for some days now.

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One languages student, in the middle of his exams, told The Tab, “I thought that people might be pissing on fish… It was that bad.”

Another, a Chad’s second year, exclaimed “the ammonia was burning my nose”.

Many are outraged that the university could claim the art to be “an essential part of the original concept for the Palatine Centre” when such nightmares are happening for students during exam time.

After today’s drama, students will be left with the impression that clearly it isn’t “essential”  that they are provided with a comfortable and hygienic study space during exam time.

“Who cares if you have to work in the stank of rotten fish when you can enjoy the amazing art in the Palantine Centre?” exclaimed one angry student.

It will certainly be interesting to see how the uni justifies spending such money on artwork when pipes are bursting in the library during exams.

But it’s not all bad. The Tab is happy to confirm that the library’s extensive art collection is, thankfully, unharmed and still safe under lock and key.