Oriental Institute in Sarajevo

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The Oriental Institute in Sarajevo (Bosnian: Orijentalni institut u Sarajevu) is an academic institute in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. It has existed since 1950, but it suffered significant destruction in 1992 during the Siege of Sarajevo.

1992 shelling[edit]

Its premises, research library and complete manuscript collection (more than 2,000 codices and 15,000 other archival material) was deliberately destroyed in shelling on May 18, 1992 by Serb forces around the besieged city of Sarajevo. According to interviews with eyewitnesses, the building had been hit with a barrage of incendiary munitions, fired from positions on the hills overlooking the town center. No other buildings in the densely built neighborhood were hit. The Institute, which occupied the top floors of a large, four-storey office block on the corner of Veljka Cubrilovica Street and Marshal Tito Boulevard (Sarajevo Centar municipality), was completely burned out, its collections destroyed.

The manuscript collection of the Oriental institute was one of the richest collections of Oriental manuscripts in the world. Those manuscripts were written over centuries in the wide areas of the East to serve as life manuals for the people all over the world.

Losses also included 5,263 bound manuscripts in Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Hebrew and local arebica - (Bosnian in Arabic script), as well as tens of thousands of Ottoman-era documents.

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