Arts & Culture

Egypt Reopens an Ancient Library with Centuries-Old Historical Manuscripts in South Sinai

Egypt Reopens an Ancient Library with Centuries-Old Historical Manuscripts in South Sinai

A general view of the Saint Catherine’s monastery (far left) with its living and tourist facility in the Sinai peninsula of Egypt May 18, 2005. REUTERS/Aladin Abdel Naby/File Photo

Egypt reopened on Saturday an ancient library which holds thousands of centuries-old historical manuscripts at St. Catherine Monastery in South Sinai.

The inauguration ceremony celebrated the reopening of the library after three years of restoration in the presence of Egyptian official and many ambassadors.

The eastern side of the library houses the world’s second-largest collection of early manuscripts, according to Monk Damyanos, the monastery’s archbishop.

“The ancient library holds around 3,300 manuscripts of mainly Christian texts in Greek, Arabic, Syriac, Georgian, and Slavonic among other languages. It also contains thousands of books and scrolls dating to the 4th century,” according to a report by AP.

“The most valuable manuscript in the library is the Codex Sinaiticus, (which) dates back to the fourth century,” said the Rev. Justin, an American monk working as the monastery’s librarian according to the report.

“This is the most precious manuscript in the world,” referring to the ancient, handwritten copy of the New Testament.

Saint Catherine is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of South Sinai’s main tourist attractions.

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