05.04.2012 - UNESCO Office in Tashkent

New Breath of Life to Calligraphy Masterpieces

New Breath of Life to Calligraphy Masterpieces

UNESCO preserves unique calligraphy masterpieces in Uzbekistan.


Unique manuscripts now available for study

Implementation of the major project on restoration of ancient handwritten books, most of which are considered true masterpieces of calligraphy and artistic design, has been started in the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Academy of Sciences of Uzbekistan. The project is carried out under the assistance of UNESCO that included the manuscripts depository of the Institute to the World Heritage List.

Over sixty units of various equipments have been delivered to a special order from Italy for the implementation of restoration works and creation optimal conditions for preserving the manuscripts – table with lighting system safe for manuscript, device for measuring manuscripts acidity, equipment for accurate observation of temperature conditions in depository, and techniques for microfilming. A special Japanese paper of peculiar transparency providing reading of the text in the damaged areas after restoration of manuscripts has also been obtained. It makes the manuscripts available for study by scientists.

The Institute provides researchers with the rare opportunity to study the history of the past. The scientific center’s fund preserves 27,000 volumes of manuscripts and 35,000 lithographs. Tens of thousand of historical documents of the Eastern countries in the Arabic, Farsi, Urdu, Pashto, old Uzbek, Turkish, Azerbaijani and other languages have been kept unstudied in the depository up to now. These rarities are considered quite significant in the study of history of Uzbekistan and other Central Asian countries, as well as the Arab East, Afghanistan, India, Iran, China, Pakistan, and Turkey.

The depository of the Institute has the works on scientific medicine by Ibn Sino, outstanding scientist Abu Rayhon Beruniy, founder of Uzbek literature Alisher Navoi and other great thinkers of the East. The Institute’s fund stores letters of prominent figures of culture, art and literature of the East that present major value as well.

Here the saved and the classics of Oriental Literature - Rudakiy, Firdousiy, Khusrav Dehlaviy, Umar Khayyom, Sa’di Sheroziy, Fuzuliy, Fariduddin Attar, Jaloliddin Rumiy, Nizomiy, Abdulqodir Bedil and others. Many of these manuscripts need restoration.

During the visit of UT journalists to the Institute they got the opportunity to watch the process of “treatment” of old books. At that very moment restorers were engaged in restoring the manuscript on medicine dating back to the 18th century. The work had been carried out under the supervision of the worker of the Museums Association of France and UNESCO consultant Antonio Mirabile who had an extensive experience in restoring old books and manuscripts. Before his visit to Uzbekistan the expert worked in Brazil, Yemen, Egypt, Mongolia and other countries.

“Studying the Tashkent depository of the Eastern manuscripts allowed us to ascertain its strengths and weaknesses,” informed Antonio Mirabile. “First of all, I should specially note about the well-organized system of safe storage of this unique, having no analogues in the world collection of the eastern manuscripts. During the further implementation of the project UNESCO specialists will to organize trainings for your restorers. They will also familiarize themselves with the experience of their counterparts in the Arab world.

Source: Uzbekistan Today

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