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Italy to Reprint Oldest Manuscript of Shahnameh Book

Italian Minister of Cultural Assets and Tourism Massimo Bray in a meeting with Head of Tehran City’s Islamic Council Ahmad Masjed Jameyee announced that his country is willing to reprint the oldest manuscript of Shahnameh, the Iranian epic masterpiece by prominent Persian poet Ferdowsi.

“The history of the relations between Iran and Italy is intermingled with culture and art and the existence of the oldest version of the manuscript of Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh in Florence’s library is an instance of the same fact,” Bray said during the meeting in Tehran on Wednesday.

“Many books and manuscripts which show the Iranian civilization and culture exist in Italy and reprinting the manuscript of Shahnameh in Florence can be a first step towards mutual cooperation,” he added.

He also welcomed the exchange of artists and architectures between the two countries, and said relations between Tehran and Italy can turn into a role model for other states.

Ferdowsi devoted over 35 years of his life to the creation of Shahnameh (The Book of Kings), which is considered one of the masterpieces of Persian literature, and has had considerable influence on subsequent literary works.

Ferdowsi, one of the greatest Iranian poets, was born in 935 CE in a small village named Paj near Tous in Khorassan, which is situated in today's Khorassan Razavi province in Iran.

The romance of Zaal and Rudaba, the Seven Stages (or Labors) of Rostam, Rostam and Sohrab, Siavash and Sudaba, Rostam and Akvan Div, the romance of Bizhan and Manizheh and Rostam and Esfandyar are among the most popular stories of Shahnameh.

A bust of Ferdowsi was installed at the University of Oxford's Wadham College Library on May 8, 2012.

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