Israel’s Declaration of Independence photographed with eye on preservation


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s Declaration of Independence was photographed using special technology to preserve it for future generations.

The document was removed Tuesday from the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, where it is stored in a special environment to ensure its preservation. It then was photographed in the LunderDead Sea Scrolls Conservation Laboratory of the Israel Antiquities Authority using technology developed especially for the delicate and history-laden Dead Sea Scrolls.

The advanced photography will provide information regarding the texture of the material from which the scroll is made, its ink and its surface, and will allow experts to assess the condition of the document and map out measures to preserve the scroll.

The project is a joint initiative of the Israel State Archives and Israel Antiquities Authority.

“Today the scroll is stored in an environment with special lighting and temperature conditions, in a secure and guarded facility of the Israel State Archives,” state archivist Yaacov Lozowick said. “Until a decision is made regarding how the scroll is to be exhibited to the public, we will continue performing various operations aimed at documenting, revealing and preserving the scroll for future generations.”

The scroll was read as a proclamation of independence on May 14, 1948, in the house of the city’s first mayor, Meir Dizengoff. Twenty-five members of the Provisional State Council signed the declaration; 12 others who were in besieged Jerusalem signed it later.


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