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Thieves steal medieval Koran



Thieves steal medieval Koran
http://www.canoe.com/TopStories/koran_sep3.html

ISTANBUL, Turkey (AP) -- Authorities launched an international search Friday for a 15th century
Koran stolen from Turkey's Topkapi Palace, alerting museums, galleries and collectors.
With no sign of forced entry and even more valuable items left behind, some suspected the theft may
have been commissioned by a connoisseur of Islamic art.
"The Koran may have been a missing piece in someone's collection," said Ozgen Acar, an expert on
Turkish antiquities.
Thieves got away with the handwritten Islamic holy book sometime between closing time Wednesday and
opening Thursday at the museum.
The Koran was removed from a sealed glass case at the palace. A number of old Turkish miniature
paintings and calligraphy on display in the same room were not taken.
Police were questioning museum officials. Authorities put out alerts with Interpol and in the art
world.
"We have asked everyone to be vigilant," said Abdullah Dortlemez of the Culture Ministry.
Authorities broadly estimated the holy book's value between $5,000 and $50,000.
The Koran is not the most valued item at the palace. Its imperial treasury room houses rubies,
emeralds and one of the world's largest diamonds.
"This suggests that the thieves were looking for that Koran in particular," Acar said.
He said the missing book was probably destined for a buyer abroad, where Islamic art can fetch a
lot of money.

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