Minister for Public Works and Culture, Naeem Akhtar, today threw open an extraordinary five-day exhibition of rare Quranic manuscripts, Islamic art objects and calligraphy specimen at the main gallery in Tourist Reception Centre here.On display in the exhibition that will remain open to the public till June 11 are some rare Quranic Manuscripts, the holy text, translations and commentary, some of which have never been displayed before. The exhibition is being held at this scale for the first time since 1981 when it was organized at the TRC only.“It is a historic moment for Jammu and Kashmir and a great opportunity for art lovers and commoners alike to explore and connect with our glorious past. These manuscripts and artefacts are a living testimony of the cultural renaissance that has shaped the future of our state,” Akhtar said.The Minister said the collection from the medieval period has been brought together with efforts and contribution by all the Departments and private collectors for the first time since 1981 and it will help in shedding light on our past and educating our future generations.“The purpose of this event is to educate people about our rich culture, superior artistic abilities and our high levels of knowledge even in medieval times,” Akhtar said adding that some of the collections, including a compendium on herbs and herbal trees from ‘Hakeem Collection’ and Diwan of Sheikh Yaqoob Sarfi are being exhibited for the first time.
The exhibition titled ‘Sheerin Qalam’ is being organised by J&K Academy of Art, Culture and Language in collaboration with Directorates of Tourism, Libraries, Archives, Archeology and Museum, INTACH Kashmir Chapter and Shashvat Art Gallery, Jammu.Among hundreds of manuscripts and artefacts at the display is the oldest available manuscript of Holy Quran in Kashmiri calligraphy by Fathullah Kashmiri in 1237 AD, gold-illuminated Shajra-Maqadasa of Islam’s prophets, a Quran dated 961 AH which is handwritten on Samarqandi paper and a Persian translation of the Quran by Mir Saeed Andrabi in 1850 among others.The Culture Minister lauded the effort of the Academy, other State Departments and private collectors of Jammu and Kashmir in preserving the artefacts and manuscripts, “Such exhibitions must be organized in other areas of the state and the country to provide a learning curve for our students and curious minds,” Akhtar said.The opening ceremony was also attended by Director of Archives, Archeology and Museum, Muneer-ul-Islam, Director Libraries, Masarat-ul-Islam, Secretary, JKAACL, Aziz Hajni, senior member INTACH, Saleem Beg, and other senior officers of the allied State Departments. Hundreds of art enthusiasts from different parts of the state participated in the opening event. A group of students from different schools also participated in a live calligraphy event which became a small centre of attraction for the visitors to the event.