Art And Culture

Saadi, Estakhri Books on World Documentary Heritage List

Saadi, Estakhri Books on World Documentary Heritage List Saadi, Estakhri Books on World Documentary Heritage List

Two Iranian literary works, ‘Kulliyat-e Saadi’ and ‘Masalik wa Mamalik’ by Estakhri, were registered on UNESCO’s Memory of the World program at the 12th meeting of the International Advisory Committee (IAC) held in Abu Dhabi October 4-6.

The IAC is the top body responsible for advising UNESCO on planning and implementation of the Memory of the World Program as a whole. It comprises 14 members, appointed by the director-general of UNESCO, and chosen for their authority in the field of safeguarding world documentary heritage, which is under constant threat of disappearing forever, Mehr News Agency reported.

The meeting was held to assess the overall progress of the program and to consider the proposed works to register on the list. Out of a total of 87 works proposed by 61 countries, two literary works from Iran were registered.

Kulliyat is the complete collection of poetry prose works by the great Persian poet Saadi who lived in the 13th century. He is not only famous in Persian-speaking countries, but has been quoted widely in the West as well. He is recognized for the depth of his social and moral thoughts reflected in his works.

Estakhri was a Persian geographer and cartographer of the 10th century. He created the earliest known account of windmills. He was a traveler whose geographical work ‘Masalik wa Mamalik’ (Routes and Countries) has been translated into German.

On the registration of the two books, director of the communications bureau of the National Commission for UNESCO, Farhad Etemadi said, “Naturally we select and introduce the oldest and most complete works to be registered on the list. About ‘Kulliyat-e Saadi’, there was not the slightest doubt regarding the authenticity of the version which exists in the National Library of Iran.”

However, Estakhris’s book was registered jointly by Iran and Germany. “The Persian version of the book is available at the National Library in Iran and the Arabic version is kept at a library in Germany. After reviewing both books, UNESCO raised questions on how old the works are as it doubted which one was written earlier. So in consultation with German officials, we decided to jointly register the book,” Etemadi said.

So far, nine Iranian works have been registered on the list, including the two latest books.