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November 29, 2014 / 7 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘museum’

Oldest Known Masks in the World on Display in Israel

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

A new display in Jerusalem is showcasing the oldest-known masks in the world, believed to have originated 9,000 years ago, long before Purim.

The 11 masks are made of stones and were discovered in the Judean desert near Jerusalem. Experts believe the masks were meant to look like skulls, with each displaying a unique personality via emotional expressions of shock or grinning.

“When you go back to objects that are this old, that are so much before the theology that becomes Judaism, Christianity and then Islam, to feel that there is a kind of a connection, that this is all part of a continuous story, is something that is pretty thrilling,” said Israel Museum director James Snyder, the Associated Press reported.

The custom of mask making and wearing dates back at least 25,000 years although no masks that old have been found, according to exhibit curator Debby Hershman, with the earliest masks most likely made of animal materials. Later, stone masks originated at the time when humans living in the Fertile Crescent adopted agriculture.

“It’s the most important revolution that ever happened,” Hershman said. The people who fashioned the masks, she said, “are actually the founders of civilization.”

Israeli Museum Names Hall for US Fugitive Kobi Alexander

Monday, December 30th, 2013

Only in Israel.

The Eretz Israel Museum in Tel Aviv is naming a hall after U.S. fugitive and former Comverse technology CEO Kobi Alexander, who along with his sister donated money for renovating the museum’s Glass Pavilion, now called the Shaula and Kobi Alexander Center.

Alexander, a native of Israel, fled to Namibia in 2006 after being indicted in the United States for fraud and still is wanted by the American government. Nambia has no extradition treaty with the United States.

The Eretz Israel Museum said it asked Alexander for a donation, and Globes reported that museum director Ilan Cohen said, “I welcome the connection with the Alexander family that has donated to the museum over the years. His father Tzvi Alexander donated his important and rare stamp collection to the museum.”

As for naming a hall after a fugitive,  he stated, “There are no criteria for naming buildings for people.”

The Eretz Israel Museum is one of the largest in the country and includes exhibits of archeology, ethnography, stamps, folklore, Judaica, traditional crafts, popular art, cultural history, and local identity.

An archaeological site dating back more 3,000 years is in the center of the museum.

NY Court to Decide Dispute over ‘Holocaust-Ancient Assyrian Link’

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

The fate of a tiny gold tablet in the possession of the estate of a Holocaust survivor and claimed by a Berlin Museum now is in the hands of seven judges on the New York Supreme Court.

The table, if it’s not a hoax, could be worth millions of dollars. It belonged to Holocaust survivor Riven Flamenbaum of Great Neck, New York and was inherited by his children. The history of the tablet is certain as far back as 100 years ago but may go back 3,200 years – or it may not.

German archaeologists discovered it approximately 100 years ago in the Assyrian city of Ashtur, in what is now northern Iraq, Long Island Newsday reported. It went missing after it has been displayed at the Vorderasiatisches Museum in Berlin in 1934 until the end of the war, when the museum’s artifacts were inventoried.

It next showed up in the hands of Flamenbaum, a native Poland who obtained it by trading “either for two packs of cigarettes or a piece of salami,” according to one of his daughters, Hannah Flamenbaum.

After her father died in 2003, his son Israel told the German museum about the presence of the tablet, and it sued for its return. The lower court in New York ruled in favor of the estate, but an appeals court overruled the decision, and the New York Supreme Court concluded hearings on the case Tuesday. A ruling is expected in four to six weeks.

It is not known if the tablet is a forgery or not. His daughter Hannah said her father tried to sell it to an auction house in 1954 but was told it was a worthless forgery.

Her brother Israel disagreed with her account including of the estate and informed the museum of the tablet’s presence, setting off the legal war.

Hannah and a sister claim that so much times has passed since the disappearance of the tablet that the museum has no rightful claim.

Their lawyer says that if the tablet turns out to be true ancient artifact, it could be worth approximately $10 million.

Fundamentalist Exhibit of Noah’s Ark Awash in Red Ink

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

A Kentucky museum’s attempt to build a  replica of Noah’s Ark, along with the Tower of Babel, Abraham and the 10 Plagues, is going to need a modern miracle to come to life as money runs out.

Fundamentalist Christians are trying to teach the Bible to the world in the Kentucky city of Hebron, without the Cave of the Patriarchs, which would have been a much more logical project but not Christian enough.

The park’s design director Patrick Marsh told Reuters, “We’re basically presenting what the Bible has to say and showing how plausible it was.”

The Creation Museum in nearby Petersburg was opened six years ago  and was supposed to be the source of funds for the Noah’s Ark project, but it got hit by the recession. Since then, visitors have been staying away in droves, denying the proposed new park the funds that wren supposed to finance the project that will cost nearly $150 million. If the Noah’s Ark project is not completed by next May, it will forfeit tax incentives and leave a further gaping financial hole.

The backers are a part of the same Bible thumping ministry that built the Creation Museum, which sticks to a literal view of the Creation.  It is headed by Ken Ham, who is at war with Darwin and scientists who claim the world is older than almost 6,000 years.

Building Noah’s Ark has raised some interesting questions, such as what is the “gopher wood” that is mentioned in the Biblical description of the building of the ark.

If the 160-acre project ever is completed, it will include a full-scale replica of Noah’s Ark, the Tower of Babel, and a first-century village, along with a theme ride that will take visitors through the 10 plagues of Egypt, according to the Christian Post.

The ride is not a thrill ride, it’s a seven to 11 minute ride through the nation of Israel, where visitors will see the plagues portrayed,” “Mike Zovath, senior vice president and co-founder of the Ark Encounter, told the publication.

God, of course, is part of the project, and the newspaper wrote that Zovath “feels like God is part of their plan and their effort to teach the biblical position.”

But God has not come up with the money.

The Noah’s Ark project has come up with a way to raise funds by encouraging people to buy a plank or a beam.

Why didn’t Noah think of that?

Israeli 1,700-year-old Mosaic on Display at Louvre Museum

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

Hundreds of thousands of tourists from all over the world are expected to visit the spectacular 1,700-year-old Lod mosaic this summer at the Louvre, the first time an official Israeli exhibition will be displayed in the world’s most visited museum.

The spectacular Lod mosaic that was uncovered in an archaeological excavation by the Israel Antiquities Authority is on display starting tomorrow (Thursday) in the Cour du Sphinx (Sphinx Courtyard) in the Roman wing of the museum until August 19.

Approximately 700,000 visitors have attended exhibitions at five museums in the United States, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Only a number of private Israeli artists previously have been exhibited in the Louvre.

“This is a great honor and achievement for the Israel Antiquities Authority and a wonderful opportunity for the millions of visitors to the museum to see the masterpiece from Lod and learn about the archaeology and history of the Land of Israel,” said Shuka Dorfman, director of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

The 1,700 year old mosaic, one of the most magnificent and largest ever revealed in Israel, was uncovered in Lod, near Ben Gurion Airport, in 1996 and was covered over again in order to protect it.

In 2009, after obtaining the necessary funding to expose it, the Israel Antiquities Authority renewed the archaeological excavation there and removed the mosaic from the site in order to conserve it.

The mosaic constitutes a rare archaeological gem that is extraordinarily well-preserved. It measures approximately 180 square meters and is composed of colorful carpets that depict in detail mammals, birds, fish, flora and the sailing and merchant vessels that were used at that time. It is thought the mosaic floor was part of a villa that belonged to a wealthy person in the Roman period.

The Louvre is holding a festive opening event on Thursday, sponsored by the Israeli embassy in Paris.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israeli-1700-year-old-mosaic-on-display-at-louvre-museum/2013/05/22/

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