Sunday, March 30, 2003

James Snyder, director of the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, is emphatic. "We're not standing still in this complex period," he said. "With all the complexity here and in the rest of the world, we're operating as usual."

This week Mr. Snyder announced plans to restore its Shrine of the Book, the building that houses the Dead Sea Scrolls, one of the most important archaeological treasures uncovered in the last century and one of Israel's most important patrimonial treasures. On April 1 the shrine will be closed for a year for a $3 million restoration and renovation.

Designed by the Austrian-born American architect Frederick Kiesler and the American architect Armand Bartos, the shrine has not been altered since its completion in 1965. While the original architecture will be preserved, the surface tiles on the dome will be replaced, as will the limestone of the plaza. There will also be new outdoor lighting. Inside, new displays are being designed, along with a lab and study center. The $3 million cost of the project has come from two grants, from the D. S . & R. H. Gottesman Foundation and from the Los Angeles collectors Herta and Paul Amir.

(From the New York Times)

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