Bosnia opens library to house ancient manuscripts

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By AP

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Updated: Wed, 15 Jan 2014 10:15:48 EST

SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) — During Bosnia's 1992-95 war and the siege of Sarajevo, residents moved a collection of ancient books and manuscripts to eight different locations to save them from destruction.

On Wednesday, thanks to a $9 million donation from Qatar, Bosnia's president and a Qatar minister opened a new library in the heart of the Ottoman-era Old Town section of Sarajevo to house those books and more than 100.000 manuscripts. The oldest is a handwritten Islamic encyclopedia that was written in Arabic in 1105.

The Gazi Husrev-bey Library is located on the site of a famous mosque of the same name that was opened in 1531. The books and manuscripts were kept in 1537-1863, then moved to another building.

The new library stands where the original one did.

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