Sunday, December 18, 2011

Jordan Will Submit UNESCO Complaint Over Dead Sea Scrolls?

The Jordanian media are reporting that Jordan may complain to UNESCO over Israel's exhibition of the Dead Sea scrolls in the US. The scrolls went on display in New York for the first time on Friday. The West Bank was under Jordanian administration between the Arab-Israeli War in 1948 and its capture by Israel in the Six Days War in 1967 and the manuscripts were discovered there between 1948 and 1957 by Jordanian archaeologists following the first find by Palestinian Bedouins in 1947. The scrolls were curated and first put on display in a Jerusalem museum administered by the Jordanian government.
A year after Israel occupied the West Bank and East Jerusalem in 1967, the Jordanian government filed complaints to UNESCO complaining of Israeli appropriation of the manuscripts, which include religious and secular texts over 2,000 years old. [...] Faris al-Hamoud, Director of the Department of Antiquities in Jordan, told Jordanian daily Al-Arab Al-Youm that his office plans to notify UNESCO of the international exhibition currently on tour, and complain of Israel's use of stolen Jordanian artifacts.
Jordan's territorial claim to the region in 1948-67 was never formally recognized by the international community, with the exception of the United Kingdom, though it seems that the United States de fact accepted the situation but never formally recognized it. When the scrolls went on display in Canada in 2009, the Palestinian Authority wrote to the government saying the seizure of the artefacts from Palestinian territories was illegal.

Source: 'Jordan to complain to UNESCO over Dead Sea scrolls', Ma'an News Agency 18th Dec 2011.
Map, the findspot of the scrolls (NE end of the Dead Sea), Photo, some of the Scroll Caves.

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