Photo Gallery The Effort to Save Cologne's History

A massive effort is underway in Cologne to try and save valuable historical documents buried when the building housing the city's archive collapsed.
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On Thursday evening, nine days after the building housing Cologne's archive collapsed, workers finally found the body thought to be the second of two people who died in the catastrophe. Here, workers carry the remains out of the rubble.

Foto: DPA
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The body was thought to be that of Khalil G., a 23-year-old university student who has been missing since the archive collapsed. He lived in a building next door to the archive, which also collapsed.

Foto: DPA
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For the nine days since the accident, the focus has been on finding the bodies of the missing. The body of 17-year-old Kevin K. was found last Sunday. Earlier this week, a building next door to the ruins had to be demolished due to the danger that it could collapse.

Foto: DPA
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Centuries of valuable historical documents were buried in the rubble. Now, work will turn to saving as many of the documents as possible. Already, said the mayor of Cologne, some 20 percent of the archive's inventory has been recovered.

Foto: DDP
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But it is a race against time. Due to rain, many of the books and documents have gotten wet. Restorers will have to flash freeze tens of thousands of documents as a first step toward dehydrating them.

Foto: DDP
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Archive experts from around Germany have offered help. Documents are being sent around the country to be restored.

Foto: DDP
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Workers are bringing rubble to a converted warehouse in Cologne were it is then sifted for documents.

Foto: Getty Images
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It is slow work. The documents have been thoroughly mixed up and researchers will have to reorder everything once they have been restored. Some papers survived relatively intact while many others will be lost forever.

Foto: Getty Images
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Researchers are particularly worried about medieval documents on parchment, due to the material's fragile nature, particularly when it comes in contact with dampness.

Foto: Getty Images
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