Priceless texts lent to US

October 25, 2002

Edinburgh University library is lending two priceless Islamic art manuscripts to New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art for an exhibition on "The Legacy of Genghis Khan".

Rashid al-Din's History of the World and Abu al-Raihan al-Biruni's Chronology of the World, both from 1307, will be seen for the first time in the US.

Richard Ovenden, Edinburgh's director of collections, said: "The manuscripts demonstrate the role the Mongol Empire played in connecting the artistic traditions of China, Islam and the West, and they stand at the beginnings of the great tradition of Persian manuscript painting.

"That Edinburgh should have two such important examples of this genre is a remarkable testimony to the university's benefactors during the 18th and 19th centuries."

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