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Leibniz Library

Golden Letter: UNESCO World Heritage

Great honour for the state capital of Hannover: The Golden Letter of the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Library was declared UNESCO World Documentary Heritage.

A golden letter. © Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Bibliothek - Niedersächsische Landesbibliothek Hannover

The UNESCO declared the Golden Letter of the Leibniz library World Documentary Heritage

The Leibniz library nominated the precious letter of the 18th century together with Myanmar (former Burma) and Great Britain as World Documentary Heritage. With success - on 10 October UNESCO general manager Irina Bokova confirmed the vote of the international counsel commitee in Paris. The Golden Letter is now officially a part of the "Memory of the World" register and therewith UNESCO World Documentary Heritage.

"Oscar, Grammy and Emmy all at once"

"An UNESCO World Heritage title is like an Oscar, Grammy and Emmy all at once. We can be proud to have such a historically significant piece like the Golden Letter here in Hannover", said Lord Mayor Stefan Schostok via the "Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung". According to the "Neue Presse" the director of the Leibniz library, Georg Ruppelt, is certain that the honour brings the library to the front a great deal.

International application with success

The paper-thin Golden Letter, written by the Burmese king Alungphaya in 1756 to king George II., is written on pure gold and studded with precious Burmese rubys on two sides. Ruppelt had this treasure, for a long time almost forgotten, examined and presented it for the first time four years ago in public. In 2012 he asked the Culture Minister of Burma during his stay in Hannover if they should apply at the UNESCO together. He was hooked right from the start and with the British Library a third partner was found quickly.

"Memory of the World" register

The Golden Letter can be seen at the Leibniz library at the beginning of December the latest - until then the exhibition space on the first floor still has to be refurbished. The ornament is now part of the UNESCO register with the official name "Memory of the World". At the moment this contains 348 pieces from all over the world - books, manuscripts, musical scores, image, audio and film documents.

(Published: 12 October 2015)