DUSHANBE, April 13, 2011, Asia-Plus -- A massive fire destroyed much of Khujand University''s Arts Faculty and the headquarters of a traditional music ensemble on April 12, Radio Liberty’s Tajik Service reports.

Fire department spokesman Bakhtiyor Shokirov said 10 firefighting crews from Khujand and other towns in the northern Sughd Province battled the blaze for two hours and managed to save part of the building.

He said a preliminary investigation suggests the fire was caused by an electrical short circuit.

Acclaimed Tajik singer Jurabek Murodov, 69, who heads the traditional Nuri Khujand music ensemble, told RFE/RL he had a collection of objects d''art, musical instruments, and memorabilia of Tajik and other Central Asian singers dating back 1,000 years.

He said that because of the work of the firefighters, some of the most valuable items were saved from the flames.

Murodov said he hopes his music ensemble will not be homeless and the government will provide it with a new headquarters so that it can celebrate its 10th anniversary.