Missing pages

One of the world’s largest Korans is being restored, thanks to the wonders of digital technology. The Koran is a volume from the 14th or 15th century with illumination and Mamluk-era calligraphy, and is huge, 88 x 60 x 18 cm or 34 X 24 X 7 inches.  The blog about the digitization, er, “digitisation” project is here (English and Arabic). But the most important part of the story has been left out.

The Koran itself is in The University of Manchester’s John Rylands Library. Two missing leaves of the book are in the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin. WHO RIPPED OUT THE PAGES?????

Was it done in antiquity? Or maybe at the time of acquisition, so the previous owner of the thing could turn a larger profit? Or maybe the motivation was censorship? Or did they want to use the page for themselves? One question leads to another. And we don’t even know which pages.

[Photo credit: top (the giant Koran) — gatewaytothekoran.wordpress.com; bottom (one of the missing pages) — The Trustees of the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin]

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