The Manuscript Restoration Center of the Library and Manuscript House of the al-Abbas's (p) Holy Shrine announced the restoration of a valuable Qur’an from the holdings of one of the scientific institutions in the province of Najaf. This copy dates back to the beginning of the fourteenth century AH and is considered one of the most important precious Qur’ans. And since factors of time have affected it, in addition to the way it was stored, which affected its pages, it was restored and treated by following modern artistic methods adopted in order to preserve it.
The director of the aforementioned center, Mr. Laith Ali Lotfi, told Al-Kafeel Network, saying: “The Center for Manuscript Restoration and Preservation, by the grace of God Almighty, has the expertise that qualifies it to restore all manuscripts. It paid great attention to Qur’anic manuscripts and our record is full of them, including this Qur’an, which dates back to the beginning of the fourteenth century AH. It is considered precious because the decorations of its cover, which is called the glazed cover as well as the inscriptions and gilding existing in the paper, in addition to the names of the surahs that were written in pure gold, and this is a feature that distinguished this Qur’an and at the same time it gave us an impetus to restore such a manuscript."
Lotfi clarified that: “After the first work of investigation of this manuscript, it became clear that the cover was eroded from the edges, and there were cracks in the decoration and the heel of the book, and some places in the decoration were peeling, as well as the pages of the Qur’an were suffering from cracks and tears that led to the loss of parts of the manuscript. Also some papers were suffering from sticking to each other, as a result of exposure to direct moisture, and this was a great challenge for us, but our staffs insisted that they restore and maintain it and restore its splendor again.
He explained: “After that, we started restoration and maintenance work based on the aforementioned and what was stated in the case of the manuscript, and through the laboratory tests that were conducted on the manuscript in the biological and chemical laboratories, a plan for the restoration and maintenance was developed through the recommendations of the two laboratories, which are as follows:
- Conducting a complete photocopying process for the entire manuscript and documenting all the apparent damages.
- Cleaning the manuscript using the natural gilding brush and a woolmaster sponge.
- Handling broken papers and lost parts using Japanese paper with different weights to make up for the missing parts.
- Restoration of the outer cover and re-coating it with the vitrified material that was prepared in our center.
- Sewing the manuscript in the same way it was found.
- Fixing the restored cover on the manuscript and placing it in a special case."
He concluded: "In the end, the Qur’an was restored according to the latest methods and mechanisms of restoration, without affecting the origin of the manuscript, while preserving its identity and the historical connotations it contains. We have completed this work in record time, while making a computer copy of the Qur’an to preserve its original copy."