1,000-year-old manuscripts among display in Baghdad

The manuscripts on show will be in many languages, including Arabic, Turkish, Persian, Cyrillic, Hebrew, English, French and German.
Friday 02/04/2021
One of the manuscripts on display at Baghdad exhibition. (TAW)
One of the manuscripts on display at Baghdad exhibition. (TAW)

BAGHDAD – An exhibition of rare books and manuscripts some of which are more than a thousand years old will open in Baghdad on April 4, under the slogan “Heritage and Epidemics.”

Priceless manuscripts, written in eight languages, will be part of an exhibition held by the Iraqi Manuscripts House in Baghdad in the Taha Baqer Hall.

Ahmed Al-Alyawi, director general of the library and archives department at the Iraqi Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Antiquities, said that this exhibition is being held as part of the activities of the Arab Manuscript Day, which was established at the meeting of Arab culture ministers in 2013.

He added that this year’s exhibition had taken the slogan “Heritage and Epidemics” in order to spotlight the procedures of conservation and preservation of manuscripts which face threats of damage and disappearance.

Alyawi explained that this year, the exhibition would pay more attention to the world of manuscripts shedding light on these great treasures that are part of collective memories of whole peoples, stressing that Iraq boasts  exceptionally rich collections of manuscripts.

On the sidelines of the exhibition, a symposium will be attended by the Iraqi Minister of Culture, Tourism and Antiquities, Hassan Nazim and representatives of Arab and international diplomatic missions, as well as researchers and postgraduate students at Iraqi universities.

An employee restores an antique religious manuscript at a warehouse specialising in the restoration of the manuscripts, in Najaf, Iraq. (REUTERS)
An employee restores an antique religious manuscript at a warehouse specialising in the restoration of the manuscripts, in Najaf, Iraq. (REUTERS)

The manuscripts  displayed will be in many languages, including Arabic, Turkish, Persian, Cyrillic, Hebrew, English, French and German, in fields including jurisprudence, literature, poetry, language, politics, and mysticism.

Alyawi pointed out that the history of these manuscripts is reflected by their types of scripts, calligraphy, the paper used and inks.

He emphasised that there are no similar manuscripts in the world.

“Ghobarias”  Korans will also be on display at the exhibition.