Experts have restored thousands of manuscripts, maps, newspapers and rare artifacts in the restoration section of the Gazi Hüsrev Bey Library in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The precious artifacts survived the war in Bosnia intact by being transferred to the Careva Mosque and Privredna Bank for safekeeping, and they are now receiving new life in the library's "history hospital."
Some of the works date back 1,000 years and have survived floods, fires, mold and humidity before coming to the restoration center.
In addition to works from the Balkans, the library carefully restores manuscripts from Mecca, Medina, Istanbul, Damascus and more.
Included in the collection is a 900 year old copy of Ihya-u Ulumi'd Din (The Revival of Religious Sciences) by Persian theologian Al-Ghazali.
Apart from four experts from Bosnia and Herzegovina, specialists from Congo and Italy also work on the restoration projects.
In the course of the restoration process, experts first identify the damaged parts of the documents. If the paper has mold or ink damage, it is cleaned through a chemical process.
The experts are also able to fill gaps in pages, or repair the damaged covers of works.
After these stages, the documents are transferred into digital media.
Restorer Mevludin Kost told Anadolu Agency that as the various works had been preserved for centuries, the restoration job requires a lot of care and responsibility.
In addition to handwritten documents, Kost works with old court records and newspapers. "When we do restoration work we don't distinguish between old and new," Kost said, "We show the same value and dedication to everything. One of the most import and ethical points of this work is to treat every historical document equally."
Despite the centuries, Kost explained that the works in the library were in generally good shape, and that Bosnia and Herzegovina has had a culture of keeping and preserving books properly throughout history.
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