AMSTERDAM (May. 21)
Amsterdam’s Ashkenazic Congregation loaned three valuable artifacts to the state-subsidized Jewish Museum. But now it can’t get them back.
The Ministry of Welfare and Culture has declared the objects national treasures that are part of the history of Jews in the Netherlands.
They must never be removed from the museum, even temporarily, the ministry decreed.
The Ashkenazic Congregation protested angrily and has asked the Dutch Council of State for a final decision. The congregation maintains that the order infringes on its religious freedom because it can never again make use of its precious possessions.
They are a 14th-century festival prayerbook, a Torah shrine of the 18th century and a synagogue menorah dating from 1753.