Saturday, 2 December 2017

German government refuses to certify Dead Sea scrolls belong to Israel

Israel withdraws from planned exhibit of scrolls in Frankfurt after Germany refuses to guarantee their return if Palestinians claim them (German government refuses to certify Dead Sea scrolls belong to Israel JTA 1 December 2017)
 Israel pulled out of a planned exhibit of the Dead Sea scrolls in Frankfurt because the German government would not guarantee their return if claimed by Palestinians. The Frankfurt Bible Museum announced that it has canceled the exhibit scheduled for a September 2019 opening. [...]  the government guarantee, had it been issued, would have blocked Palestinian or Jordanian authorities from contesting the provenance of the scrolls [...] The first scrolls in the cache were discovered in 1946 by Bedouins in the West Bank, which since 1967 has been under Israel’s control. In 2010, the Jordanian antiquities department demanded the return of some of the scrolls, which it said Israel had taken illegally from a museum there in the 1967 war. [...] Boris Rhein, the culture minister from the state of Hesse, told German news agencies that the German Foreign Ministry and federal commissioner for cultural affairs considered the ownership of the scrolls to be unclear.  
The ownership of the scrolls currently in Israel is questioned by both Jordan and Palestine, having been seized in armed conflict after their discovery (that is the period 1946-1956). This is not directly related to the current disagreement (basically by Trump's USA) over recent UNESCO resolutions. This hinges on the interpretation of the Hague Convention regarding the removal of antiquities from militarily-occupied territory. The dispute will continue until the issue about the status of Jerusalem is resolved.

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