PO Box 35566, Head Office, Khalifa City A,
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has successfully carried more than 100 historic manuscripts from Berlin’s State Library (Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin) to the National Library of Australia (NLA) in Canberra.
The treasures, which span 1,000 years of human history, feature exquisite illuminated manuscripts, rare letters, sketches, documents and priceless musical scores, each handwritten by major figures in literature, religion, science, music, exploration and philosophy.
They include handwritten works by Erasmus, Bach, Beethoven, Curie, Dante, Darwin, Dickens, Einstein, Galileo, Kafka, Machiavelli, Luther, Mozart, Michelangelo, Napoleon, Newton and Nightingale.
The masterpieces will be part of a fascinating exhibition named Handwritten: Ten Centuries of Manuscript Treasures from Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, when they go on display in Canberra from November 26 to March 18.
Air freighted from Germany to Australia on board Etihad Airways flights, the priceless manuscripts were specially packed in tailor-made, humidity-controlled cargo crates.
Art handlers accompanied the precious cargo on the flights, carrying the most precious artifacts in protected hand-carry cases.
Etihad Airways has great expertise in the transportation of special, valuable and vulnerable goods, and the exercise involved close synchronisation between the airline and key partners in Germany, Abu Dhabi and Australia.
Roy Kinnear, Senior Vice President Cargo at Etihad Airways, said: “This successful logistics operation further proves Etihad Airways’ ability to provide premium and secure logistical solutions for our partners and customers and we are delighted to have played our part in coordinating and providing this service.
“Overall, it is a story of great collaboration, coordination and careful synchronisation from start to finish. Our team at Etihad Airways, both on the passenger and cargo side of operations, worked closely with the Staatsbibliothek in Berlin and the National Library in Canberra to ensure safe passage of the priceless artefacts.”
Anne-Marie Schwirtlich, Director-General of the National Library of Australia, said: “I would like to thank Etihad Airways for their generous support of the Handwritten exhibition and for ensuring such remarkable care and thoroughness to ensure safe arrival in Canberra of this extraordinary cargo.
“Here at the National Library we are full of praise for the way Etihad Airways handled every aspect of this logistics exercise, and are extremely grateful to them for playing a central role in this cultural exchange between Germany and Australia.”
Well over 100,000 visitors are expected to visit the Canberra exhibition over the four month period. Once the exhibition ends, Etihad Airways will carefully freight the precious cargo back to the Berlin State Library.