Wednesday, September 05, 2007

THE SILOAM TUNNEL INSCRIPTION is returning to Israel on loan from Turkey - perhaps to stay:
Hezekiah Inscription to return to Israel

By Jay Bushinsky (Washington Times)
September 5, 2007


An ancient inscription memorializing Jerusalem's salvation from Assyrian invaders 2,700 years ago is to be returned to the Holy Land from Turkey for study and public display.

Israel has been trying for about 20 years to recover the artifact, which marks one of the most important turning points in Hebrew history.


Jerusalem Mayor Teddy Kollek made the first attempt to retrieve the inscription for contemporary Israel two decades ago. Last month, Mayor Uri Lupolianski asked for it again at a meeting with Turkish Ambassador Namik Tan. The ambassador said it would be returned in accordance with international law as a loan rather than a restitution.

A member of the Turkish Embassy's staff in Tel Aviv said the inscription could be deposited in Jerusalem "on a long-term basis" if some kind of reciprocity was made. Otherwise, it may stay at the Israel Museum for as little as three months.

Mr. Barkay suggested that the diplomat was hoping for a loan of items dating from the Ottoman Empire's 400-year-long rule over Palestine. Most of this material is stored in Israel's state archive, he said.

Sounds like a fair trade to me.

Background to this story is here (and follow the links from there). Also, I have discussed Sennacherib's invasion of Judah here.