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Denmark's national library is to risk re-opening an international political storm by housing the cartoon images of the prophet Muhammad that provoked violent convulsions throughout the Islamic world two years ago.

The royal library in Copenhagen - founded in the 17th century by King Frederik III and home to many historic treasures - has declared the drawings to be of historic value and is trying to acquire them for "preservation purposes".

The library, widely acknowledged as the most significant in Scandinavia, has agreed to take possession of the caricatures on behalf of the museum of Danish cartoon art, a spokesman told the Art Newspaper.

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