Originally published 11/25/2013
New, fascinating archaeological findings in Jerusalem.
Originally published 05/01/2013
NEW YORK — The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Israel Museum in Jerusalem have jointly acquired a 15th-century illuminated Hebrew manuscript, they announced Monday.The Mishneh Torah is a rare manuscript with text by the Middle Ages Jewish philosopher Moses Maimonides. It is a synthesis of Jewish law and the second of a two-volume manuscript featuring six large illustrations plus 32 smaller images and marginal decorations. The first volume is housed in the Vatican.The two institutions said they would share the Mishneh Torah on a rotating basis.The manuscript was created in 1457 in the style of Northern Italian Renaissance miniature painting. It was restored at the conservation lab of the Israel Museum, where it has been on loan since 2007 and on public view since 2010....
Originally published 03/21/2013
WASHINGTON — Last year, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney attacked the Democratic convention platform for its “shameful” decision to omit a reference to Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. But in a sign of how U.S. politics have changed in 40 years, President Richard Nixon complained in 1972 of the Democrats’ ”dishonest” platform language declaring the city Israel’s capital.Nixon’s national security adviser, Henry Kissinger, agreed with his condemnation during a previously unreported taped conversation from June 29, 1972. “To make Jerusalem the capital of Israel is not the platform of a major American national party,” Henry Kissinger told Nixon. “That is what I find so revolting here.” The tape is one of a collection housed at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center.On Wednesday, Barack Obama arrived in Israel for his first visit there as president — about six months after telling Democratic Party officials to reinstate language from previous convention platforms stating Jerusalem is the Israeli capital....
Originally published 02/15/2013
JERUSALEM — In one room sits a sarcophagus of reddish-pink limestone believed to have held the body of King Herod, painstakingly reconstructed after having been smashed to bits centuries ago. In another, there are frescoes from Herod’s elaborate underground palace, pieced together like a jigsaw puzzle. Throughout, elaborate animated videos show the king’s audacious construction — atop the desert fortress Masada; at his burial place, Herodium; and his most famous work, the Second Temple of Jerusalem.The Israel Museum on Tuesday opened its most ambitious archaeological exhibition and the world’s first devoted to Herod, the lionized and demonized Rome-appointed king of Judea, who reigned from 37 to 4 B.C.E. and is among the most seminal and contentious figures in Jewish history. But the exhibition, which the museum director described as a “massive enterprise” that involved sifting through 30 tons of material from Herodium and reconstructing 250 artifacts, has also brought its own bit of controversy.
Originally published 01/16/2013
JERUSALEM — Israel’s national museum said Tuesday it will open what it calls the world’s first exhibition devoted to the architectural legacy of biblical King Herod, the Jewish proxy monarch who ruled Jerusalem and the Holy Land under Roman occupation two millennia ago.The display includes the reconstructed tomb and sarcophagus of one of antiquity’s most notable and despised figures, curators say.Modern day politics are intruding into this ancient find. Palestinians object to the showing of artifacts found in the West Bank. The Israeli museum insists it will return the finds once the exhibit closes....
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