Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Rockefeller Museum in Jerusalem Dedicated to Past of Man in Palestine

December 7, 1927
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Natural Science Not to be Included, Gift Stipulates (Jewish Daily Bulletin)

The text of the letter of John D. Rockefeller, Jr. offering his gift of $2,000,000 to build an Archaeological museum in Palestine was made public by High Commissioner, Lord Pumer.

“I am informed by Professor James H. Breasted, of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago,” Mr. Rockefeller wrote to Lord Plumer, “that the Palestine Government is engaged in a project for the construction of an Archaeological museum, to be built and maintained in accordance with the following plans:

(1) “That the building site known as the ‘Karm el Sheikh’ situated at the northeast corner of the wall of Jerusalem, and containing about eight acres will be contributed by the Palestine Government as the site for the Museum building.

(2) “That the adjoining municipal incineration plant will be permanently removed from the immediate vicinity.

(3) “That the terrain adjacent to the ‘Karm el Sheikh’ site will be included in what is known as the Jerusalem ‘town planning scheme.’

(4) “That the collections in the new Museum will include all material throwing light on the past of man in Palestine; that natural resources and materials pertaining to natural science would therefore be included only in so far as they concern the human career in the past; in short that the Museum is to be an archeological institution, not a museum of natural science.

(5) “That the responsibility for the erection of the Museum will be assumed by the Palestine Government, and that its future administration will likewise be carried on by the Palestine Government in such advisory relations with an International Advisory Committee as the Palestine Government may deem feasible.

“In support of this proposition as outlined above, I am glad to pledge whatever may be necessary up to two million dollars towards the cost of building, equipping and endowing the Museum, the last payment to be made not later than January 1, 1931, on which date any uncalled for balance of the maximum amount mentioned above will lapse.”

Lord Plumer’s reply read:

“On behalf of the Government and people of Palestine I beg to thank you most sincerely for your generous contribution towards the cost of building, equipping and endowing an Archeological Museum in Jerusalem.

“The museum will be built and maintained in accordance with the plans specified in your letter.

“I can assure you that your gift will be widely appreciated. It cannot fail to be of far reaching and permanent benefit to Palestine.”

Recommended from JTA