Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Met Museum Appears to Have Mislabeled a Sacred Jewish Artifact

By Helen Holmes
The 6th century object in the Met’s collection that many claim is incorrectly labeled. Public Domain, Metropolitan Museum of Art
A controversy involving the Metropolitan Museum of Art flared up over the weekend, when a Twitter account representing the website stopantisemitism.org called out the museum for allegedly mislabeling a 6th century amulet from Egypt in its Islamic art department. According to the @StopAntisemites account and other commenters, the object in question is not an amulet, but rather a tefillin; these are cubic leather black boxes traditionally used in Jewish prayer and are considered extremely sacred. The accusation that the Metropolitan Museum of Art had mislabeled an item in its collection was also picked up on Twitter by Caitlin Hollander, a genealogist who works for Hollander-Waas Jewish Heritage Services. [More