Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Museum of the Bible Returns Artifacts to Egypt

By Tom Mashberg
“We first offered to return these items in March 2018, and are pleased that now they are in the care of their rightful owners,” said Jeffrey Kloha, the Museum of the Bible’s chief curator.Credit...Saul Loeb/Agence France-Presse, via Getty Images
The Museum of the Bible in Washington, which has been bedeviled since its inception in 2017 by claims that it acquired thousands of biblical artifacts on the black market, has quietly repatriated 5,000 manuscripts and bits of papyrus to Egypt, which has long asserted the items were ferreted from the country in 2011 amid the upheavals of the Arab Spring. Steve Green, chairman of the Bible Museum and a co-founder of the multibillion-dollar Hobby Lobby chain, had hinted at the return in March when he said that “several thousand items that likely originated from Iraq and Egypt, but for which there was insufficient reliable provenance information, would be returned to their countries of origin.” [More]