Museum of the Bible says 5 Dead Sea Scrolls are forgeries

The Museum of the Bible announced Monday that five of its Dead Sea
Scrolls fragments are forgeries, the result of a third-party scientific

The museum, which opened in November in Washington, D.C., said it
removed the fragments from display and replaced them with three other
fragments also undergoing scientific analysis.

"Though we had hoped the testing would render different results, this is
an opportunity to educate the public on the importance of verifying the
authenticity of rare biblical artifacts, the elaborate testing process
undertaken and our commitment to transparency," said Jeffrey Kloha, the
museum's chief curatorial officer. "As an educational institution
entrusted with cultural heritage, the museum upholds and adheres to all
museum and ethical guidelines on collection care, research and display."

Before it opened in November, the Museum of the Bible's collection came
under scrutiny by critics of the collecting practices of Hobby Lobby
President Steve Green, who donated some of the exhibits at the museum.
The five forged Dead Sea Scrolls fragments were among the items donated
by Green, The Guardian reported.

The Green family has collected about 40,000 artifacts worth more than $205 million over the past eight years.

In May, Hobby Lobby returned thousands of historic artifacts from
modern-day Iraq that Green purchased in Dubai and improperly brought to
the United States. He paid $1.6 million for 5,500 pieces, including
4,000-year-old cuneiform tablets and stone cylinders, in 2010. The
company also agreed to pay a $3 million fine.

The Department of Justice found that the company had the tablets shipped
to its Oklahoma headquarters, but that the boxes were labeled as
containing ceramic tile samples. Green promised more oversight at the
time, and blamed the incident on his own inexperience as a collector.

"We made mistakes, but we've learned from them," he said.

"Before this, we weren't collectors or museum-goers," Green added. "We
didn't know we needed to ask for all this paperwork" to prove

Proving prior ownership of an artwork or artifact is meant not only to
verify the authenticity of the piece, but to prevent the sale of looted

The misstep cast doubt on the veracity of other objects the Green family
owns, including some that are on display at the Museum of the Bible.

Josephine Dru was the former curator of the Greens' collection of
papyri; she left after three years over concerns about how the museum
handled the provenance of some manuscripts.

"The Greens are good people, and they wanted to find important artifacts
to study, but the situation may end up hurting some of the scholars and
students they wanted to help," she said in November.

Museum Director David Trobisch said the museum rejected some donations made by the family over questions of prior ownership

The museum's board also hired a cultural heritage lawyer to authenticate all items in the collection.

"We feel like we're paying for the sins of the father," Trobisch said last year.

Geezgo for free. Use Geezgo's end-to-end encrypted Chat with your
Closenets (friends, relatives, colleague etc) in personalized ways.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post