Russian President Vladimir Putin received on Thursday from a 2,000-year coin uncovered in Jerusalem at the City of David excavations.
Putin is in Israel together with 45 global leaders and royals to attend the Fifth World Holocaust Forum at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial and to mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau.
Putin was awarded the coin by Jerusalem’s Mayor Moshe Leon, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in attendance, on the sidelines of a dedication ceremony of the monument in memory of the heroism of the soldiers and residents who were killed during the siege of Leningrad in World War II.
The coin is an original, inscribed with the ancient Hebrew words “Liberty of Zion.” On the other side of the coin are the words “year two” and refer to the second year of the Great Revolt during the years 66–73 CE.
The coin was minted by Jewish rebels in Jerusalem on the eve of the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE by Rome’s 10th Legion.
Coins that were minted in the second and third years of the revolt are plentiful and easier to find, but coins from the fourth year are much rarer.
This archaeological artifact is a piece of evidence of the Jewish People’s ancient ties to Israel, and especially Jerusalem.
Unlike Naama Issachar, who is being held hostage in a Russian prison after a layover in Russia on trumped up charges, Putin won’t be arrested for trying to take the archaeological artifact out of Israel.