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Jakarta Post

Palembang displays world's largest Koran

  • Khairul Saleh

    The Jakarta Post

Palembang   /   Wed, June 24 2009   /  11:36 am
The big book: A version of the Koran, hand-carved onto sheets of wood, is said to be the largest in the world.(JP/Khairul Saleh)(JP/Khairul Saleh)

The big book: A version of the Koran, hand-carved onto sheets of wood, is said to be the largest in the world.(JP/Khairul Saleh) Versions of the Islamic holy book, the Koran, have been discovered in different styles and from different eras, but a wooden version believed to be the largest in the world is found only in Palembang, South Sumatra. Indonesian Muslims, particularly those in South Sumatra, take pride in this monumental work, a giant scripture carved out by trained, skillful and meticulous hands over six years. This unique book is known as Al Akbar (the Great). To create the masterpiece, no less than 50 cubic meters of tembesu wood (Fragrea fragrans) from across the province were used. The timber was cut into 315 planks for the carved pages - each 177 centimeters tall, 140 centimeters wide and 2.5 centimeters thick - with their dark color forming an attracti...