D.I. Paul Struzl, General Manager of Adeva, poses next to pages of the golden Quran at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair currently under way. Image Credit: Alex Westcott/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Pages of a golden Quran are among the more unique items that visitors to the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair 2011 (Adibf) get to see.

"We create gold facsimiles of many historical manuscripts. This one was created from the original Quran that is housed in the State Library of Munich. It's dated from the 11th century and was written by Ibn Al Bowabi," explains D.I. Paul Struzl, general manager of Adeva, a fine arts fascimile publisher.

"We strive to make sure that every detail from the original manuscript is reproduced accurately in our facsimiles," he added.

The golden Quran is made of 184 leaves of 16-carat gold but other manuscripts sometimes use gold of up to 23.5 carats.

Delicate process

The process to create a golden facsimile of any work is delicate and time-consuming.

The organisation has to first get permission to examine and photograph the original work and develop the prints in a special darkroom designed to enhance all the piece's details.

These are then fed through a special custom-made facsimile machine which was designed by Struzl's grandfather shortly after the Second World War and the text printed onto gold sheets.

The finishing includes binding (if the project is a book).

The pages on display at Adibf, which runs until tomorrow, at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, are taken from the first draft of this process.

"We try to make sure that the materials and techniques used to bind the pages are as close as possible to the original…we have a specialist who has been working with us for over 30 years who does the binding. Given that it is a very sensitive process, if something goes wrong, we have to start from the beginning again," Struzl explained.

Adeva has successfully reproduced 480 golden replicas of everything ranging from books to maps to music sheets and more.

Such is the quality of their work that they have even been commissioned by high-profile clients including the King of Morocco and the Vatican.

"We have also collaborated with the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage to reproduce a book on falconry [and] we are currently in discussions with the Shaikh Zayed Mosque; it would be a great honour if they agree to allow us to do a gold facsimile of a manuscript of their choosing," Struzl said.