The seven-year-old book was in need of serious mending.
The Qur'an, produced by ACR Group (Italy), counts 632 pages, and its measurements are 1,500 on 2,000 millimeters. In 2011, it was admitted to the Guinness World Records roster as the largest printed Qur’an on the planet. It weighs 800 kilograms and is decorated with stones, gold leaf, silver, and malachite. In May 2012, it was placed for storage inside a city commemorative sign in Bolgar, Tatarstan.
Svetlana Burshneva, Senior Lecturer, head of restoration project, told us that there were some production inconsistencies which led to a relatively quick deterioration of the book’s condition. In particular, its back was not strong enough to support the weight of pages, and shortened drying time led to the gluing of some pages.
The restoration itself was divided into several stages and took eight months. Everything was replaced, cleaned, or mended – malachite mosaic, sewn fly pages, leather plating, stone incrustations, silver bindings, and the paper itself.
KFU currently employs a number of highly qualified restoration experts who are capable of conducting very specific tasks. Unsurprisingly, the University is a home for a unique master program in restoration and preservation in three subject areas – metal, ceramics, and organics. Therefore, graduates can become multi-profile specialists with a very rare expertise and knowledge.
The educational process is tied with the University's own laboratories. Teaching is conducted by leading professionals from the State Research Institute of Restoration, Russian Art Restoration Center, State Hermitage, and Kunstkamera Museum.
The plans do not end there, though. Soon, educational programs for restoration of paper, books, furniture, clothes, and other materials will be launched.