UAE: Ancient books, artefacts on show at Tales from the East exhibition

Staff Reporter/Sharjah
Filed on April 26, 2021
The exhibition will be held at the Sharjah Book Authority headquarters. — Supplied photo

Sharjah Book Authority exhibition to showcase rare manuscripts till May 3

Ancient written materials, books and manuscripts, and rare artefacts, all worth Dh60 million, will be on exhibition in Sharjah from April 28-May 3.

The Sharjah Book Authority’s (SBA) ‘Tales from the East’ exhibition will showcase these priceless items at its headquarters.

Open to the public from 8pm to midnight, the exhibition will also feature a series of cultural sessions and panel discussions, with history and archaeology experts discussing the role of manuscripts in unveiling humankind’s scientific and cultural achievements, and the importance of their preservation for future generations.

Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, Chairman of the SBA, said: “Through the extensive collection of written material and manuscripts, ‘Tales from the East’ exhibition will enable visitors to journey hundreds of years back in time and witness the events and innovations that have shaped the course of our history.

“The exhibition not only explores the formative work of scientists, innovators and thought leaders over several centuries, but also highlights the meticulous art of creating books in the ancient days and the relentless efforts that have gone into developing civilisations. The priceless works on display here will serve as an inspiration for the young generations to work harder, and recognise that harnessing knowledge is the key to serving their nations and humanity,” Al Ameri added.

On display at the exhibition will be the first edition and first issue of the Description of Egypt, comprising 23 volumes and illustrated with 935 plates, put together through a collaboration between scientists, artists, and technicians who followed Napoleon Bonaparte to Egypt.

Visitors can also view the first edition of Katib Celebi’s masterpiece, The Mirror of the World, published in Constantinople by Ibrahim Muteferrika in 1732 and illustrated with 40 coloured maps and plates, including the famous map of the Arabian peninsula drawn by Ahmed Al Qirimi. It also contains astrological models of the universe, climate and wind maps, and other elements.

The exhibition will also house Journey to Persia, a book penned by orientalist Adrien Dupre and published in 1819, documenting his travels through Asia Minor, Mesopotamia, Turkey, Armenia and Persia.

The exhibition will also feature globes from the 17th to the 20th centuries, including an exceptional and rare pair of terrestrial and celestial 49cm coloured parquet globes by Mattaheus Greuter, released in Roma in 1632 and 1636.

A large collection of antique posters, illustrated books and atlases, and a host of rare manuscripts will also be showcased at the exhibition.

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