|1,600-year-old mosaic at Israeli city of Tiberias synagogue damaged by vandals|
A 1,600-year-old badly damaged mosaic. Israel's antiquity authority says vandals have badly damaged a 1,600-year-old mosaic in the northern city of Tiberias. Authority archaeologist Gilad Kinamon says the mosaic once formed the floor of a 4th century synagogue. He says vandals smashed parts of the mosaic, grinding it to a fine powder, while other parts were badly scratched. AP Photo/IAA, HO.
By: Diaa Hadid, Associated Press
JERUSALEM (AP).- Vandals badly damaged a rare 1,600-year-old mosaic in the northern Israeli city of Tiberias that formed the floor of an ancient synagogue, smashing parts to rubble and scrawling graffiti, antiquity officials said Tuesday.
Experts suspect extremist Jews who object, sometimes violently, to excavations they claim involve ancient grave sites. There was no claim of responsibility. Police are investigating.
Guards found the damage on Tuesday morning, said archeologists involved in the site.
The mosaic, dating 400 years after the birth of Jesus, was one of the best preserved and beautiful of its period, according to archaeologists.
It featured illustrated zodiac signs and the traditional symbolism of a fourth-century synagogue: ritual candelabras and palm fronds. The synagogue's ruins, including its ancient mosaic floor, were in a fenced-off area of a national park in Tiberias, next to the Sea of Galilee.
It listed the names of the synagogue's chief patrons in ancient Hebrew, Latin and Greek.
Israel Antiquities Authority deputy director Uzi Dahari said a fringe group of ultra-Orthodox Jews were suspected of causing the damage, much of it irreversible. Dahari said the graffiti scrawled across parts of the archaeological site and previous threats against the Antiquities Authority suggested they were the perpetrators.
Photographs issued by the Antiquities Authority showed parts of the mosaic floor reduced to gray chunks of rubble. Other photographs showed blue spray paint scrawled over the mosaic, covering ancient Hebrew and Greek letters spelled out in blue, red and beige tiles. Graffiti was also scrawled along rock walls beside the mosaic. Perpetrators also punched a hole in the mosaic between two candelabras.
"On every grave, a site," one neatly written Hebrew slogan said.
Dahari and other archaeologists said it referred to constant accusations by a tiny Jewish hard-line group that the Antiquities Authority was digging up Jewish graves. Disturbing Jewish graves is a deeply offensive act for devout Jews.
Archeologists said they have found similar graffiti on other sites. The Hebrew word for "site" is also shorthand for an archaeological site, as in English.
An archaeologist who frequently works in the Galilee area, Gilad Kinamon, said ultra-Orthodox Jews frequently turned up to his sites to demonstrate against his work.
"It was the best of Jewish art of its time, of the late Roman and early Byzantine period," said Dahari. They ... destroyed what was in front of them without thinking," he said.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.
May 30, 2012
Frieder Burda's collection on view for the first time in France at Musée Granet
First exhibition on the work of eighteenth-century court goldsmith opens at the Frick Collection
Baroness Carmen Thyssen Bornemisza to sell "The Lock" by John Constable at Christie's
Greek experts find Roman-era shipwrecks nearly a mile deep off an island
Archaeologists discover One thousand years of history in a Sicilian farmland estate
1,600-year-old mosaic at Israeli city of Tiberias synagogue damaged by vandals
Sotheby's to offer a fully functioning Apple I; First Apple Computer made by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak
Scottish auctioneers to sell the collection of a U.S. media family in Edinburgh
China Guardian Auctions Co.'s 2012 Spring Auctions season yields over $337mm USD in sales
Andy Warhol's take on the Queen, from the Reigning Queens series, for sale at Bonhams
Christie's Hong Kong Spring Sales of Chinese Paintings achieve HK$782,284,000/US$100,758,179
South Africa's Goodman Gallery to remove painting from website after thousands protest
"Goin' Home, Goin Home": Mike Kelley's mobile homestead to be built in Detroit
Susanne Ghez steps down at The Renaissance Society after 40 years
Fundacion Mapfre presents the exhibition Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1880-1938)
Historic New England awards prize for collecting works on paper
Author's son seeks Malcolm X letter at Syracuse
Julien's Auctions to resent Sports Legends/Music Icons Auction on June 23rd and 24th
Galleri Lars Olsen presents two video works by Swiss artist Jessica Faiss
1908 Summer Games set the stage for other Olympics
Most Popular Last Seven Days
1.- Italian Renaissance master Leonardo da Vinci's extremely rare Viola Organista: the sound of genius
2.- After facing international criticism, Germany to put online 590 works from Nazi art trove
3.- Robert L. Oswald, Brother of Lee Harvey Oswald Disputes Last Week's Sale of Coffin
4.- Germany to return some works to Cornelius Gurlitt, hoarder of Nazi-era art trove
5.- Major exhibition of new works by artist and musician Bob Dylan opens at Halcyon Gallery
6.- In interview with Der Spiegel, Recluse defiantly stakes claim to Nazi-era art hoard
7.- Dallas Museum of Art presents first in-depth study of Edward Hopper's working process
8.- Switzerland pays heavy price for Van Gogh gift from businessman Oskar Reinhart
9.- Alex Prager's first solo museum exhibition in the U.S. opens at the Corcoran Gallery of Art
10.- 3D printing 'will change the world'
Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .
|Royalville Communications, Inc|