The city’s bibliophiles will once again be able to borrow books by giants like Bertolt Brecht, Gunter Grass and Immanuel Kant, from the Goethe Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan in the Kala Ghoda arts district, in south Mumbai.
The Bhavan is an institution that is part of an international network of institutes that promotes the German language and culture.
The institute, which had suspended borrowing facilities six years ago, is re-converting its reference library into a lending library.
The library will be open to the public next week.
It plans to enhance the existing collection to attract a wide range of people. Membership will be open to everyone.
The new collection will include audio-visual books, contemporary music, German animation films and a wide range of magazines. As before 2003, the library will allow members to borrow films and music, besides books.
“We are now looking at having books for general reading and enjoyment,” said Marla Stukenberg, the institute's director.
Already, about 2,000 students enroll in one of the institute’s many language classes. The library will no doubt enhance their learning experience. It might also attract people from the field of humanities, social sciences and the fine arts, as it did before 2003.
“The Max Mueller Bhavan was a place where a lot of interesting seminars and discussions were organised,” said Shefali Balsari-Shah, head of the English department at St. Xavier’s College. “Art, music, cinema, dance, literature was present in every corner of the place, and it provided us with a wonderful window into both classic and modern German culture. I am looking forward to having it back again.”
Art critic and curator Ranjit Hoskote, said: “It will be marvellous to have this intellectual and cultural resource back.”
Walter Stechel, consul general of the Federal Republic of Germany and Nandita Das, actress and director, will inaugurate the library on Friday.