Osman Lavic said Bosnia and Herzegovina is interested in cooperating with Iran in preserving and restoring old manuscripts.
Lavic is currently visiting Iran as the head of a delegation touring Iran’s libraries and cultural centers.
“I have come to Iran at the invitation of Iran’s public libraries along with six of my colleagues who are all experts in the fields of library sciences and restoration of manuscripts,” he said.
“During this trip, we signed a memorandum of cooperation with Iran Public Libraries Foundation to promote relations. This includes the exchange of information and restoration of manuscripts.”
Lavic added that the deal will also pave the way for boosting ties between the cultural centers of Iran and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
As Sarajevo’s oldest cultural center, he noted, the Gazi Husrev-beg Library was founded nearly 500 years ago and as such, it preserves and restores really old manuscripts.
“There are about 10,000 old manuscripts in Gazi Husrev-beg Library which were written in Farsi, Arabic, or Ottoman,” he said, adding that these are legacies of past generations, and we should make efforts to preserve them.
“Apart from old manuscripts, about 250,000 manuscripts in Eastern languages are kept in this library, and we intend to publish the information we extract from them across the world,” Lavic maintained.
The University of Sarajevo has even dedicated a department to study the Farsi language and literature.
We turned to talk briefly with Amela Lepir, a member of the delegation that is visiting Iran.
She has worked as a librarian in the Gazi Husrev-beg Library for years.
“I was not familiar with the state of libraries and book reading in Iran before visiting the country, but during this trip, I realized that Iran has achieved a lot in the publication of books and other cultural works, to say nothing of the large book fair that is held in Iran every year,” Lepir said.
Lepir added that she has long been interested in visiting Iran and getting familiar with its culture.