Egypt’s Al-Azhar institute said on Thursday that legal measures were underway to recover a Quranic manuscript taken from Cairo in the 18th century during Napoleon’s invasion.
French auction house Osenat withdrew the manuscript after the Egyptian embassy in Paris lobbied against its sale.
Al-Azhar, considered the most prestigious seat of Sunni Muslim learning, said legal measures were underway “to bring back the manuscript and other relics from Azhar's great human heritage.”
The 47-page manuscript of the opening surahs, or chapters, of the Islamic holy book was taken from Al-Azhar’s mosque.
Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt in 1798 triggered a revolt in Cairo and the mosque was the rebels’ headquarters.
During an attack on the mosque, the manuscript was saved from being destroyed by fire by Jean-Joseph Marcel, an Orientalist who had accompanied Napoleon.
The manuscript now belongs to a private collector.
Finders, keepers: Yemeni man on a mission to ‘save the Quran’A Yemeni man on a mission to “save the Quran” has perhaps picked up more than he'd bargained for, after finding more than 3,000 discarded ... Middle East
The story behind Islam’s celebration of Prophet Mohammad’s ascensionThursday marks al-Israa wa al-Mi’raj, a Muslim holiday that celebrates the Prophet Mohammad’s overnight journey from Mecca to Jerusalem, ... Features