body#layout #main-top { display:none; } -->

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Palestinians ask Canada to seize Dead Sea Scrolls

A new exhibit featuring the Dead Sea Scrolls at Canada’s largest museum has ignited Palestinian claims of cultural theft.

The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), in partnership with the Israel Antiquities Authority, is displaying 17 of the scrolls, including four for the first time, until Jan 3.

The scrolls contain the earliest written sources for the Old Testament as well as prayers, biblical commentary and religious laws that served as the foundations for Judaism and Christianity.

Titled Words that Changed the World, the collection includes fragments of Genesis, Deuteronomy, Psalms, Daniel and Isaiah and the War Scroll, one of the first found.

The facts regarding the discovery of the scrolls in 11 caves north-west of the Dead Sea in the Jordan Valley’s Wadi Qumran between 1947 and 1956 are not in dispute by Palestinians.

The problem for Palestinian Authority officials, who contacted ROM executives in April, is that the exhibition contains artefacts illegally acquired by Israel when it annexed East Jerusalem in the 1967 war. More