Conservators in Iraq carry out major restoration project to save centuries-old manuscripts

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By Euronews  with AFP
In an annex of Iraq's national museum, a conservator pores over a 17th-century manuscript
In an annex of Iraq's national museum, a conservator pores over a 17th-century manuscript   -   Copyright  AFP TV

Conservators in Iraq's National Museum are carrying out a major restoration project in an effort to preserve and digitise 47,000 manuscripts. 

The House of Manuscripts' collection includes texts written in Arabic, Persian and Hebrew -- and some are said to date back almost 1,000 years.

In a country that bears the scars of decades of conflict and has seen antiquities and cultural heritage regularly plundered, the House of Manuscripts' collection has managed to survive.

It was safely stashed away in the Baghdad suburbs, while the National Museum was ransacked in the turmoil following the 2003 US-led invasion. 

Employees and residents prevented subsequent looting attempts at the "underground shelter" where it was stored, according to the head of the House of Manuscripts body. 

Watch the video in the video player above to find out more.