Russia holds Golden Koran exhibit in Bahrain

07:10 GMT, Jan 30, 2008

Manama. Jan 30 (Interfax) - The Golden Koran exhibit was held at the international conference Bahrain Civilization Dialogue, which was conducted under the sponsorship of the forum Civilization Dialogue in Manama, Bahrain, on January 27-29.

"An historical event has taken place in Russia. Non-Muslim people and Orthodox Russians have made a golden copy of an ancient Muslim relic, namely part of a Koran manuscript by Khalif Usman. We wanted to immortalize the holy manuscript in precious metal, in gold of the highest standard. Some experts find that this work is as great as the works by Faberge, Vladimir Prusakov, general director of the company WT, which ordered the creation of the Golden Koran, told Interfax.

Four of over 160 pages of the book were brought to Bahrain, said Prusakov. "We are planning to show the entire Koran in Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam,," he said.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Saltanov called the Golden Koran presentation an important event. "It is, no doubt, a very important event, and those people who have invested their souls into this project deserve nothing but praise," he told Interfax.

Mikhail Piotrovsky, director of the State Hermitage, agrees with him. "It's a great idea. The manuscript, which is the foundation of the project, is very old and was only discovered recently," he said.

"We wanted to make out of this manuscript a work of art in the Islamic tradition and they came up with this idea. It's a beautiful, aesthetic solution," said Piotrovsky.

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