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23 October 2000

Last Chance to See the Codex Manesse in the Original

Exhibition "Treasures from the Historical Collection" at Heidelberg University Library closes 28 October — Unique show must close on time — Last guided tour Thursday

And still they come. The exhibition "Treasures from the Historical Collection" which opened last April at Heidelberg University Library has attracted a never-ending stream of visitors. The tour through 500 years of the history of the Palatinate and of Heidelberg as a university town and the Residence of a number of electors is illustrated exclusively by treasures taken from the University's own vaults, among them the famous Codex Manesse, Otfried von Weissenburg's Evangelienharmonie and the Heidelberg Sachsenspiegel, all on view in the original. The print collection of the University also contributed an abundance of views of various towns and cities, some of them never exhibited previously.

To protect the precious manuscripts the exhibition must close its doors on 28 October. So anyone who has not yet seen the Codex Manesse in the original had better hurry. The light-sensitive manuscript is due to be locked away again for at least two years in a temperature-conditioned safe far from inquisitive eyes.

The last of the pages on view has already been turned. It is a portrait of Minnesänger Ulrich von Sachsenheim and an intriguing example of how a picture can be inspired by the verse of a song. The poet bewails the fact that he has broken and arm and a leg in the service of his lady love, a statement certainly meant to be taken metaphorically. But the miniature interprets his plaint quite literally, showing an injured poet lying in the arms of a ministering helper, his head averted painfully, while a doctor puts his leg in a splint. In the background a servant holding what is no doubt a flask of some invigorating cordial lays a hand soothingly on his shoulder.

The last official guided tour of the exhibition will be on Thursday, 26 October 2000 at 5.30 p.m. The location is the University Library, Plöck 107, 69117 Heidelberg. The exhibition is open Monday to Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Thursday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.).

Please address any inquiries to:
Ralf Werner Wildermuth
Heidelberg University Library
Phone: 06221-542626, fax: 542623

Dr. Michael Schwarz
Press Officer of the University of Heidelberg
phone: 06221/542310, fax: 54317

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Updated: 24.10.2000


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