14 codes from the Fund 488 of the Albanian Central Archive will be part
of the “Brilliance of Byzantium” exhibition that will accompany the 22nd
International Congress of Byzantine Studies in Sofia, Bulgaria.
The exhibition opened this Sunday and will continue until August 27th. The first day inaugurated the exhibition “Byzantium without borders”, where were displayed a great number of medieval books from Balkan and Europe.
Part of the exhibition will be the Albanian Central Archive with the 14 codes from the Fund 488, belonging to the Byzantine and Late-Byzantine period (IX-XIV centuries), and also with one fragment from the Crimson Code of Berat 1 and 2, (Beratinus Purpureus VI century and Aureus Anthimi, mid IX century).
The exhibition will show Greek manuscripts decoded by Balkan, VI and XVIII centuries, and also from other European countries, such as Russia, Macedonia, Serbia and Greece, who will contribute with manuscripts belonging to this period.
This is the first time that such a quantity leaves the Albanian State Archive for being displayed in an international exhibition. After the controversy if it is legal or not to transport these codes outside Albanian borders, the Central Archive decided to display the codes and the director of the Archive, Nevila Nika, explained that there is no law infringement that could stop them from being transported outside Albania. The Beratinus Purpures was shown for the first time in an exhibition on the year 2000, in Vatican, for the 2000th anniversary of Christianity.
This is a unique occasion that will draw scholars from all over the world, who will see the 120 manuscripts of the Byzantine period. For the first time maybe since the time of their production, The Crimson Code of Berat will be displayed beside Petropolitanus Graecus 53, from the Russian Library of Saint Petersburg. Scholars say that these two codes have many similarities. One of the experts who will study these codes is Axinia Jurova, who published the scientific study called “Albania’s codexes”.
According to the specialist Sokol Cunga, the Byzantine Codes of the Fund 488 are an excellent example for showing that these codes have been preserved by staying loyal to their original shape.