Monday, 22 October 2018

Bible Museum Admits Some of its Dead Sea Scrolls are Fake

The Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC admits that five of its Dead Sea Scroll fragments are fake German-based scholars tested the fragments and found that five "show characteristics inconsistent with ancient origin and therefore will no longer be displayed at the museum."(Daniel Burke, 'Bible Museum says five of its Dead Sea Scrolls are fake' CNN October 22, 2018):
In April 2017, Bible Museum sent five fragments to the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und-prüfung (BAM) a German institute for analyzing materials, where scholars tested for 3D digital microscopy and conducted material analyses of the ink and sediment on the papyrus. (Scholars have theorized that forgers use old scraps of papyrus or leather, to make fraud detection more difficult.)
Let's note that, five were sent for analysis all five were shown to be fakes. The MOB has another eleven in the collections. The Museum tries to put a brave face on its disgrace: "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 chief curatorial officer for Museum of the Bible. It shows even more te value of verifying how the object came onto the market, from an officially-sanctiond source straight from the ground, or a seedy backstreet somewhere. Some scholars had questioned the fragments in the collection right from the beginning.
Steve Green, the museum's founder and chairman, won't say how much his family spent for the 16 fragments in its collection. But other evangelicals, including a Baptist seminary in Texas and an evangelical college in California, have paid millions to purchase similar pieces of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
That's the problem with trophy artefacts, they lose their charm when it turns out they are not so 'special' any more.

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