- Gaza Museum of Archaeology
The Gaza Museum of Archaeology ("Gaza El Mat’haf") is projected for opening in Autumn
2008in the Gaza Strip.
According to museum director Jawdat N. Khoudary, “The idea is to show our deep roots from many cultures in
Gaza. … It’s important that people realize we had a good civilization in the past. Israelhas legitimacy from its history. We do, too.” [http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/25/world/middleeast/25gaza.html?_r=1&scp=2&sq=archaeology&st=cse&oref=slogin Museum Offers Gray Gaza a View of Its Dazzling Past, Ethan Bronner] , " New York Times", July 25, 2008.]
Khoudary, a construction company owner, instructs his employees to save whatever they dig up so that he can search it for treasures. He also pays fishermen who bring him archaeologically interesting objects. Gaza does not have a law requiring
rescue archaeologywhen construction crews happen on archaeological artifacts.
New York Timesdescribes the museum building, made partly of stones recovered from old houses, old railroad ties and marble columns discovered by Gazan fishermen and construction workers, as “stunning.”
The museum, sponsored by
UNESCO, is funded by a board of Palestiniantrustees. It receives scientific and technical support from the Museums Division of the city of Geneva. [ [http://www.culturekiosque.com/calendar/item11044.html Gaza at the Crossroad of Civilizations] .]
The museum displays are censored by the
Hamas-led government of Gaza. Objects that cannot be displayed include an Aphroditewhose gown is too revealing, images of other ancient deities and oil lamps featuring menorahs.
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