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News ID: 1655
Iran » Iran
Publish Date: 16:05 - 15 July 2013
Tehran, YJC. Codicologist says that the West has used Iranians’ ignorance to acquire Quran manuscripts.
Kamran Fani said in an interview with Tasnim "Like many other manuscripts, Quran manuscripts are not only economically valuable, they are also very important in spiritual and artistic terms. But, for their significance among Muslims throughout centuries, Quran manuscripts have always showed the highest enthusiasm and artistic fervor of the artists. Since 400 years ago when the West took an interest in the East and Iran especially as the cradle of Islamic civilization, many of such valuable manuscripts were transferred to Western countries.”

He added "As for the ways in which the transference was conducted there are a number of hypotheses. The first thing that comes to mind is commercial deals between the West and the East. Merchants who traveled to Iran and other Islamic countries to buy their needs would take with them a lot of Quran manuscripts which were created in exquisite fashions.”

"The Western would have nothing to do with the content of these books. The content was of no importance to them because they did not believe in it. But the artistic beauties worked into these manuscripts would catch every onlooker’s eye. There Iran’s share was more than other Islamic countries’. The arts of calligraphy and illumination were at their peak in Iran and the best artists were always employed to write the Quran,” he continued.

Fani stated "We were not conscious of the value of these works. This is not limited to manuscripts which include the Quran, the same is true with antique works. Iranians used to think that they could create another work as well-wrought and exquisite as the one they were selling. So they would easily give it away for a good price. The West misused our ignorance. In fact the purchase and transfer of these works to Western museums was a kind of fraud, where the buyer took advantage of the seller’s ignorance.”

He added that most of the works are taken to Poland, the UK, and France.

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