Friday, January 20, 2017

Siloam Inscription to stay in Istanbul

EPIGRAPHY AND POLITICS: Despite detente, ancient Hebrew text ‘proving’ Jewish ties to Jerusalem set to stay in Istanbul. Netanyahu has hailed Siloam Inscription as evidence ‘etched in stone’ of Jews’ historic connection to holy city, but Israeli officials are not seeking its return (Ilan Ben Zion, Times of Israel).
Despite Netanyahu’s argument asserting the unparalleled significance of the inscription, Israel has made no overtures to secure its return or that of the other two ancient inscriptions held at the Istanbul museum.

Israeli diplomats in Turkey and Jerusalem said there were no communications with the Turkish government on that point, and a Netanyahu spokesman said there were no current efforts to pursue the repatriation of the inscriptions.

A Foreign Ministry spokesperson said that while Israel has repeatedly expressed interest in the repatriation of the Siloam inscription, the issue is not currently on the agenda.
Well, despite the messy political situation in Turkey, they're probably safe for now where they are. PaleoJudaica followed the unsuccessful effort to have the Siloam Inscription returned to Israel on loan in 2007 in posts here, here, here, here, and here. The other two inscriptions from Israel now in the Istanbul Museum are the Gezer Calendar (on which more here, here, and here) and the Temple Warning Inscription (on which more here - and here for a fragmentary copy in Israel).