The historical manuscript - ET The historical manuscript - ET

Egypt retrieves historical manuscript from London

Sun, Dec. 8, 2019
CAIRO - 8 December 2019: Minister of Culture Inas Abdel Dayem confirmed that the ministry continues to exert efforts to preserve Egypt's national heritage and retain the smuggled artifacts.

Abdel Dayem referred to the historical artifacts as part of Egypt’s identity, announcing the restoration of the 16th part of the Qur'an manuscript of Sultan Al-Ashraf Qansuh al-Ghuri (1446- 1516) that was offered for sale at Chiswick English Auctions House.

The ancient transcript was retrieved due to the efforts exerted by the Egyptian National Library and Archives headed by Hisham Azmy. The minister thanked all those who contribute to preserving the Egyptian National Library holdings.

For his part, Azmy stated that the Egyptian National Library and Archives received intelligence from private sources that the manuscript was offered for sale. The manuscript was included in the exhibited artifacts’ list of the auction that was scheduled to be held in London in October.

Immediately and in strict confidentiality, all necessary measures were taken to stop the sale.

Azmy resumed that the auctions hall responded to the request that was supported by documents and included a complete documented file and pictures of indexes and records confirming the Egyptian National Library's ownership of the manuscript.

He added that after intense efforts interspersed with direct negotiations that lasted for nearly a month and a half, the Egyptian National Library and Archives convinced both the auctions hall in London and the manuscript’s holder of its right to retain the manuscript, which was registered within the National Library’s historical holdings.

It is noteworthy that the manuscript represents the 16th part of the quartet of Qansuh al-Ghouri; the National Library and Archives reclaimed the fourth part in November 2018. It is considered one of the rarest and most valuable manuscripts. It contains thirty papers of special Arabic scripts, gilded with gold at the top part and tabulated with a gold frame.

The manuscript was registered at the Egyptian National Library and Archives in November 1884 AD, before being held in the school of Sultan Qanswa Al-Ghuri.

The Egyptian National Library and Archives -during the period from April 2018 to November 2019- succeeded in recovering three manuscripts that were held for sale at auctions halls in London, in addition to Mahmoud Raef atlas, which was held for sale in Germany. The German foreign minister handed the historical atlas over to the Egyptian minister of culture during his recent visit to Egypt.

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