Jordan Reported Planning Protest to UNESCO over Scroll Sale to Israel

The Times reported from Paris today that Jordan was disputing Israel’s claim to the Temple Scroll, the longest Dead Sea scroll yet discovered, and will contest it at the September session of UNESCO in Paris. The scroll was purchased by Israel from a Jordanian antiquities dealer in East Jerusalem known as Kando, after protracted negotiations. The price was not disclosed but the Wolfson Foundation in London contributed more than $80,000 toward the purchase and the scroll will eventually be known as the Wolfson Scroll, the Times reported. According to the paper. Western scholars have been trying for years to get the dealer to sell the scroll for which he reportedly asked nearly $250,000.

The Jordanian Government has declared the Israeli purchase invalid. The Amman authorities say that under the 1954 Hague Convention for the protection of cultural property in occupied territories, the scroll could not be sold. Prof. Yigal Yadin, the Hebrew University archaeologist, said the Temple Scroll deteriorated so much while in Kando’s hands that parts of it looked like “melted chocolate.”

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