UNESCO Banner

DIRECTOR-GENERAL OF UNESCO

The Director-General signs a Memorandum of Understanding with the Republic of Turkey and the Organization of the Islamic Conference-Research Centre for Islamic History, Art and Culture

The Director-General signs a Memorandum of Understanding with the Republic of Turkey  and the Organization of the Islamic Conference-Research Centre for Islamic History, Art and Culture
  • © UNESCO/M. Ravassard

On 29 November, Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Government of the Republic of Turkey and the Organization of the Islamic Conference-Research Centre for Islamic History, Art and Culture (IRCICA) to create a ‘Book Hospital’ to preserve and restore endangered manuscripts and ancient books.

The tripartite agreement establishes the ‘Book Hospital’ at Süleymaniye Library in Istanbul and will undertake curative work on deteriorating or ‘sick’ documentary heritage items as well as provide training to future curators in the theoretical and practical aspects of preservation.

“I am delighted that we have reached agreement on this important common endeavour,” stated the Director-General. “The Suleymaniye Library, with its vast and rich holdings of heritage, is a leading institution with a strong preservation tradition,” he added.

This agreement is the fruit of years of cooperation between the library, the Republic of Turkey and UNESCO. The library houses the works of Avicenna, which is listed on UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register. The Register also list the Hittite cuneiform tablets from Bogazkÿ and the Manuscripts from the Kandilli Observatory and Earthquake Research Institute.

“This agreement is timely and we fully support the creation of the ‘Book Hospital’,” continued Mr Matsuura, “this is the type of concrete initiative that leads to a greater understanding of Islamic culture and civilization.”

The agreement was also signed by the Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of Turkey to UNESCO, Mr Numan Hazar and the Director-General of IRCICA, Mr Halit Eren.

  • Author(s):Office of the Spokesperson
  • Source:Flash Info N° 191-2006
  • 30-11-2006
Europe and North America Latin America and the Caribbean Africa Arab States Asia Pacific