Wednesday, August 07, 2013

More on those DSS fragments for sale

STILL ON SALE: American Evangelical Collectors Buy Up Dead Sea Scroll Fragments (Daniel Estrin, PRI's The World). Excerpt:
But there’s a handful of fragments that Israel doesn’t have. The source is William Kando, whose father, Khalil, a Palestinian Christian, became the main dealer of Dead Sea Scrolls after Bedouin Arabs first found them in the late 1940s.

But he held onto one important scroll. In 1967, Israel detained William’s father, and he confessed he’d hidden it: the longest Dead Sea Scroll ever discovered.

“My father (kept) it at home, in a very good condition,” Kando said. It was stored in a shoe box under a floor tile in his bedroom.

Israel bought the scroll from him. But he had more scroll fragments hidden throughout the house. Kando says his father put them in a safe deposit box in Switzerland.

When Kando’s father died in 1993, his children inherited the collection. Very quietly, they began to sell.

Kando has kept the rest of this story quiet. He has approached manuscript dealers in the US, including Lee Biondi in California
Lots of background here. Also Loren Stuckenbruck tells me that there is an Aramaic manuscript of the Book of the Watchers (1 Enoch 1-36) currently in Switzerland (I don't know if it is one of Kando's), the asking price for which is I-don't-remember-how-many-million dollars. I also don't know if the latter has any connection with the 1 Enoch manuscript mentioned in this post.