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First copies of Quran to be displayed in Istanbul

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet | 8/11/2010 12:00:00 AM |

Istanbul’s Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art is set to host a unique exhibition in honor of the 1,400th anniversary of the revelation of the Quran.

Istanbul’s Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art is set to host a unique exhibition in honor of the 1,400th anniversary of the revelation of the Quran.

The “Quran Exhibition in its 1,400th Year” will reveal unique, rare pieces of the 250,000-page Damascus documents collection. A large selection of handwritten Qurans normally held in the inventory of the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art will be displayed for art lovers for the first time as part of the exhibition.

The exhibition will open Sept. 5, this year’s Night of Power, the night when the Quran was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad, and continue through Dec. 1. It will contain over 250 artifacts.

Antik A.Ş. and a team of experts from the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art have prepared the exhibition, which is curated by Sevgi Kutluay and Ali Serkander Demirkol from the museum.

The pages of the Quran among the Damascus documents are the earliest known parts of the Quran in existence. The pages date back to 875-876. Since 1964, these documents have been studied mainly by foreigners. Some 50 pieces of the collection will be revealed to the public for the first time in the exhibition.

The collection is known as the Damascus documents because it was brought from the Damascus Umayyad Mosque. When the mosque burned down at the end of the 19th century, most of the documents were damaged but the rescued documents were brought to Topkapı Palace in Istanbul in 1911. The collection was sent from the palace to the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art after its establishment.

Among the striking Quran fragments in the Damascus documents, which include some 250,000 Quran pages altogether, are several written on antelope hide.

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