Sunday, October 28, 2007

Ancient Koran headed for private collection

It looks like another beautiful example of Islamic culture is headed to a private collector!#@!

"An 800-year-old copy of the Muslim holy book, the Koran, has sold for a world record price of £1,140,500 at an auction in London.

The Koran, which has been dated to 1203, is believed to be the oldest known complete copy written in gold.

The calligraphy has marginal notes written in silver.

Auction house Christie's said it was a world record for both a Koran and an Islamic manuscript. It was expected to sell for between £500,000 and £750,000.

A second Koran, a nearly-complete text from the 10th century, was sold for almost £916,500.

Both were sold on behalf of the Hispanic Society of America, and were bought by British trade buyers."

I know museums need to raise money and often prune their collections for space considerations, I just wish there was a way such objects could be limited to purchase by other public institutions.

I see the Hispanic Society of America has a free museum and reference library for the study of the arts and cultures of Spain, Portugal, and Latin America in New York City. With such wonderful artifacts, I guess I need to add it to my list of must see sites in New York the next time I visit there.