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Cloned pages of Golden Quran at Sharjah book fair

Austrian publisher to produce ‘facsimile’ edition of holy book in Munich library

Image Credit: Atiq-Ur-Rehman/Gulf News
Quran, displayed during the opening ceremony of Sharjah Book Fair at Sharjah Expo.
Gulf News

Sharjah: A Dh400,000 copy of the mysterious Golden Quran is planned by an Austrian publisher visiting Sharjah.

Adeva said it has received an order from the UAE for a reproduction – technically called “facsimile” – of the Golden Quran, whose origins are obscure.

The facsimile specialist is displaying two glittering cloned pages of the holy book at the Sharjah International Book Fair in Expo Centre till November 17.

The original’s pages are made from pure fine gold powder gilt paper and Adeva says the facsimile will be identical – down to marks of wear and tear over the centuries.

Adeva president Dr. Michael Struzl said a UAE royal figure has commissioned a true-to-original facsimile of the Golden Quran, believed by some experts to be from the 11th century Iraq or Iran region.

The original weighs about four kilograms and is kept in Germany at the Munich state library, Dr. Struzl said.

“The Golden Quran was made for a king in a very secret way. We’ll follow the hand-technique for the facsimile,” he added.

No more than 10 facsimiles will be created on a made-to-order basis by Adeva. Dr. Struzl said the clones will cost about Dh80,000 or Dh400,000 each. “Everything will be the same – the smudges, the marks. It’s not our fault it’ll look like that,” he joked.

A cheaper Dh29,000 copy – not made from gold – is also on show at Adeva’s stall at the fair.

Mewanhile,His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, has ordered the establishing of a free publishing zone in the emirate, to be the first free zone specialized in publishing industry in the world.

The move is part of a series of initiatives by Shaikh Sultan in order to promote reading and support both the traditional and digital publishing industry as well as contribute to the Gulf region’s development into a knowledge-driven society. This was announced during the opening of the 31st edition of the Sharjah International Book Fair which opened on Wednesday and will continue until 17 November. Shaikh Sultan also announced the allocation of Dh2 million in support of publishing houses participating in the current edition.

This year’s book fair will see Pakistan as the Country of Focus, with some 30 Pakistani publishers participating for the first time. Famous Pakistani authors and poets are also attending. Other exhibitors include 22 Arab nations and 40 other foreign countries.