Official laments smuggling of invaluable Shia manuscripts

TEHRAN, Jan. 12 (MNA) – Deputy-head of National Library and Archive of Iran has lamented that larger part of invaluable Shia manuscripts dating back to early and middle history of Islam had been neglected, destroyed, or smuggled outside the country.

Gholamreza Amirkhani, who was speaking in a ceremony to honor a group of activists to save and preserve ancient manuscripts on Wednesday, said that the catastrophic incident were even more lamented when the question that why such priceless manuscripts should be smuggled outside the country, and that “only belatedly did we detect the neglect and systematic destroying of manuscripts.”

“The financial greed is to blame for the disaster; however, high-ranking officials of the country should also deem it necessary that to protect national heritage would require stronger wills and more efficient supervisory processes,” he told the meeting. “Libraries are responsible for preserving the written heritage in the first place; we frequently hear the story of smuggling of an item of the heritage occasionally; for example, a sheet of miniature work from Shah Tahmasb’s ‘Epic of Kings’ was sold in Sotheby’s Private Artwork Sales for $12m.”

Amirkhani urged allocation of necessary budget to rule out the smuggling to overseas markets; he also called for all individuals who owns such manuscripts to keep them by themselves; “the National Library would only seek to protect such manuscripts from smuggling to international markets; the objective is that such invaluable artwork be saved for the posterity; still other stories related large-scale systematic stealing of the national heritage, including Shia manuscripts dating back to early and middle parts of the Islamic history; other parts of such manuscript collections had suffered neglect and been destroyed,” he lamented.


News Code 122648


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