Netanyahu asks Russia to return manuscripts

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked Russia’s president to return a historic collection of ancient Jewish manuscripts.

During a meeting Monday with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Netanyahu requested that Russia return the Guenzberg collection, the second largest anthology of ancient Hebrew literature, collected by a Russian-Jewish family in the 1840s.

Russian officials said they would "positively consider" the request, according to Haaretz.

The collection includes 14,000 books, 45 incunabula (books published in the 14th century, at the start of the printing era), more than 2,000 Hebrew manuscripts and 1,000 Arabic manuscripts.

Zionist activists purchased the collection in 1917, but the collection was seized in the Bolshevik Revolution when the outbreak of World War I prevented its transport. 

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