Wednesday, April 13, 2005

A TUG OF WAR seems to be starting over the Codex Sinaiticus.
Britain may have to give up oldest known Bible

By Dalya Alberge, Arts Correspondent (London Times)

THE British Library is facing the possible loss of one of its most important manuscripts, the world�s oldest Bible, to a Middle Eastern monastery.

The fear is raised weeks after the institution was told by a government advisory panel that a 12th-century manuscript in its collection was looted from a cathedral near Naples during the Second World War and must be returned.

The backing last month by the Spoliation Advisory Panel of a 27-year campaign by the city of Benevento to be reunited with a jewel of Italy�s heritage will have given renewed hope to St Catherine�s, a desert monastery on the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt, of being reunited with a manuscript that it is believed to have owned from the 6th century, if not earlier.


(Via Michael Pahl and others.)

All I can say is that I hope all parties involved have the welfare of the manuscript foremost on their agendas. It is very fragile and moving it should be done only with the utmost care and only for excellent reasons. It also needs to be kept in a place where it can be conserved properly. It would be a tragedy if political factors led to the neglect of these concerns.

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