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Statement on the Library at the University of Louvain, Belgium.

October 18, 1929

IN REPLY to a press question, the President said:

"I, and those associated with me, in the American gift of a library to the University of Louvain, wish to emphatically disclaim any approval of the action of Mr. Whitney Warren in insisting upon an offensive inscription upon the building.

"The library cost about 32 million francs wholly provided from the United States. Of this sum over 70 percent was secured by a committee under my chairmanship and the other part by a committee under the chairmanship of Dr. Nicholas Murray Butler. Mr. Whitney Warren was the architect and did produce a most notable building of great credit to himself and the Nation.

"The authorities of the university 3 years ago, with my approval, refused to allow the inscription insisted upon by Mr. Warren, and if my recollection serves me rightly, Dr. Butler also protested against it."

Note: The proposed inscription to which the President referred was in Latin, translated by Dr. Butler as "Destroyed by German ferocity, rebuilt by American generosity."

Herbert Hoover, Statement on the Library at the University of Louvain, Belgium. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/208028

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