Gabriel Gabiro, AP, January 30, 2008
COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP)—Denmark’s National Library said Wednesday it plans to archive the original Prophet Muhammad caricatures that sparked violent protests across the Islamic world two years ago.
Despite objections from some Muslim leaders, the library in the Danish capital will preserve the 12 cartoons for research purposes but will not make them available to the public for at least 10 years, spokeswoman Jytte Pedersen said.
The 12 cartoons first were published by the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten on Sept. 30, 2005, and then reprinted by a number of Western newspapers early the following year. Mass protests erupted in Muslim countries where the cartoons widely were seen as insulting. One showed Muhammad wearing a turban shaped as a bomb with a lit fuse.
The Copenhagen-based Islamic Faith Community, a network of Muslim groups that spearheaded protests against the cartoons in Denmark, said archiving the original drawings was a bad idea.
Danish imam Abdul Wahid Pedersen disagreed, saying it was important to preserve the cartoons as part of the historical record of “a very important event that turned the world upside down.”
Eleven of the drawings remain in the hands of the cartoonists, while one was sold to a private buyer, said Claus Seidel of Denmark’s cartoonists’ association.
The library spokeswoman said she believed the artists would agree to donate the cartoons to the archives.