The four storey yellow painted building with big masonry work of books in black and white pages for its motif loomed high at the corner of Merchant Road and 37th street. Its architecture stands out from other commercial buildings in its environs. It is known as Sarpay Beikman Building or BTS (Burma Translation Society) Building, metaphorically referred to as the “Palace of Literature”.
The Sarpay Beikman’s structure is impressive because of its logo; a book, which on its top was thin golden lines that appear like spreading rays of light; on one side of it is black and the other is white. In the middle of the book masonry is a pen, which radiated the rays of light.
For decades, it has drawn loyal followers and patrons who love to visit the place regularly to buy or borrow books from its public library in the second floor.
One of the regular visitors at the Palace of Literature is Ko Soe Naing, who visits the edifice almost every week just to check on the latest titles available.
He pointed to one of the marble slabs which was inscribed with key historical details of the bulding, such as the foundation stone of the building was laid down on 26, July, 1953 and it was inaugurated at 8:30am, Thursday, May 5, 1955, with no less than the late Prime Minister U Nu as guest of honour.
Ko Soe Naing said he usually come to the building to buy the Weekly Government Gazetteer, which he likes to read for current knowledge and collect for future references. He went directly to a glass-paneled showcase where the Weekly Government Gazetteer is neatly stacked and took K450 (US 30 cents) and handed these to the sales clerk.
Read the complete article by San Lin Tun on the Myanmar Times.
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