Showing posts from January, 2010

Voices from the Dust: The Current Controversy of the Dead Sea Scrolls

Several weeks ago, a friend complained about the recent exhibit of the Dead Sea Scrolls at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, calling it “The Dead Sea scraps!” I admit it was a small selection but the explanatory information was excellent with numerous videos from the Qumran site and my family enjoyed it.

But just as the traveling exhibit was set to close in early January, Jordan requested that Canada seize the documents. According to news reports, Jordanian Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Maha Khatib asked Canada to “take custody of the scrolls” until their ownership might be determined by an international court. Canada refused, saying “differences regarding ownership of the Dead Sea scrolls should be addressed by Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority.”

Given the unusually bad timing of the request (days before it closed)—what did Jordan hope to achieve? Certainly they wanted to intimidate future exhibitors. The Palestinian National Authority [PNA] was more confrontati…