Qur’an comes to Leeds!
Taken from an 800-year-old copy of the Qur’an, two beautiful and historic pages have been mounted and displayed in a completely new way at Leeds City Museum’s Voices of Asia gallery.
The pages come from a 13th Century copy of the text and were originally purchased in 1951 from art collector Frank Savery.
Their age and origin was confirmed at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum last year before specialist remounting by conservator Richard Hawkes allowed both sides of the pages, which mainly show Surah’s 29 and 30, to be viewed by experts for the first time.
Members of the public can view the framed pages alongside a specially-prepared presentation showing the alternate side of each one.
Surah 30 begins by calling attention to the defeat of the Byzantines at the hands of the Persians in Syria in 613-614 CE.
The Surah heading is in gold eastern kufic script in a broad band with a palmette in the margin.
Councillor Brian Selby, Leeds City Council’s lead member for culture, said: “These pages are a stunning addition to the Voices of Asia gallery, which is a space that really showcases the rich heritage of a part of the world so steeped in culture and history.
“The painstaking work of the museum team has ensured the pages can be displayed in a way which fully captures their significance as well as how ornate and beautiful they are.”
Entrance is free to Leeds City Museum and it is open every day, except Mondays.