Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Steve Green is returning 11,500 artifacts

UNPROVENANCED ARTIFACTS: Amid Scrutiny, the Museum of the Bible’s Founder Will Return a Staggering 11,500 Artifacts of Dubious Origin to the Middle East. Hobby Lobby tycoon Steve Green founded the museum (Sarah Cascone, artnet news).
Green is now returning an additional 5,000 ancient papyrus scraps and 6,500 ancient clay pieces because their provenance cannot be verified, prompting concerns that they could be looted or stolen.

The museum is hoping that its curators will continue to have scholarly access to the works—only one of which, a clay tablet imprinted with the Babylonian epic of Gilgamesh, was ever displayed at the institution—upon their return.
For more on the fake Dead Sea Scroll-like fragments owned by the Museum of the Bible, see here and links. I see that I mentioned the Gilgamesh fragment here, but I don't know anything more about it. For more on the scandal of the missing Oxyrhynchus papyri, see here and links. Many other PaleoJudaica posts on the Museum of the Bible and the Green Collection are here and here and links.

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