Gaza Museum of Archaeology


Gaza Museum of Archaeology

The Gaza Museum of Archaeology ("Gaza El Mat’haf") is projected for opening in Autumn 2008 in 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. Israel has 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 archaeology when construction crews happen on archaeological artifacts.

The New York Times describes 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 Palestinian trustees. 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 Aphrodite whose gown is too revealing, images of other ancient deities and oil lamps featuring menorahs.

References


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