Quotes: US MENA   Enter Symbol: NewsLetter: Search: advanced

Gaza pagan treasure holds promise for Islamic rulers  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - AFP - 15/02/2014
No. of Ratings : 0
Add to Mixx!



(MENAFN - AFP) The discovery in Gaza of a life-size bronze statue of a naked ancient Greek god has presented the Palestinian territory's Islamist rulers with a dilemma: should there be a cover-up?Religious sensitivities about nudity and pagan idolatry aside, mystery also surrounds the circumstances of how the statue of Apollo turned up.A fisherman says he found it by the seashore, but the green patina on the impressive 2,500-year-old artifact suggests it was discovered on land.The statue, weighing 450 kilograms(1,000 pounds) and 1.7 metres (5.8 feet) in height, is being kept by police at an undisclosed location as they investigate, although the Hamas government has distributed photographs.Fisherman Jawdat Ghorab, 26, from the central Gaza Strip town of Deir al-Balah told AFP he found the figure among rocks on the seashore last August."I saw a treasure, a gift from God," he said. "I thought that my life of poverty had been transformed."He said that with great effort he and his family loaded the statue onto a donkey cart and brought it home where it was placed on a mattress until its confiscation by the police.

Ghorab admits to breaking off one of the figure's fingers, thinking that it might be made of gold."I'm asking the government for a reward of 10 percent of (the statue's) value," he said, hoping to be officially recognised as the finder.But experts who had heard rumours of such as discovery for months contend that Ghorab's version is pure fiction."The find had to be made public to save it from destruction by vandals," an archeologist who has excavated widely in the region said on condition of anonymity."It is the lure of profit which guarantees its conservation," he added, estimating the statue's value at around 20 million (15 million euros)."But immediately, politics becomes involved," with the Western-backed Palestinian Authority -- forced out of the Gaza Strip by Hamas in 2007 -- wanting to have its say.The PA's deputy tourism minister, Hamdan Taha, said his concern was the statue's restoration and its possible sale."This is a very important and exciting scientific discovery and we're trying -- with several parties -- to follow developments," he said."What gets in our way is Hamas's control of Gaza."- 'Cover its genitals' -

Young Gaza archeologist Fadel al-Utol said the statue, with its green patina, was unlikely to have come from beneath the waves."It is 90 percent intact and was probably found on land," he told AFP. "If it had spent time underwater, the bronze would be blackened.""It's more likely that the statue was found in an ancient temple in the Gaza area. We need to search and find out," he said.Utol said statues of such a size are rare, although a smaller example is held by the Louvre in Paris.He has suggested to the Hamas government's tourism and antiquities ministry that a Franco-Palestinian team help restore the Gaza Apollo and put it on display in a local museum.Local sensitivities in religiously conservative Gaza, however, would oblige "covering its genitals with an antique sculpture of a mulberry leaf out of consideration for Palestinian and Islamic values," he said.Hamas deputy prime minister Ziad al-Zaza said his organisation "wanted to preserve antiquities and the history of mankind."The statue is in the hands of the interior ministry pending the investigation to determine "if it was found in the sea or moved from somewhere else," he said."After the inquiry, the statue will be returned to the tourism and antiquities ministry which will make contact with interested international parties, particularly France which is one of the most interested in (Gaza) antiquities," he said."We are reaching out our hand to international institutions, to museums and to governments to take part in the restoration and display of this exceptional piece in the museums of Gaza or elsewhere," the ministry's director general Ahmad al-Borsh said."The statue could perhaps be loaned to a famous French or British museum, which could bring about contacts between the Gaza government and foreign governments," said Mohammed Khalla, Hamas's deputy tourism minister.But it is a long way from Gaza to the British Museum or the Louvre.The European Union shuns formal contact with Hamas, which both Brussels and Washington have classified as a "terrorist organisation."

 






  MENA News Headlines
 Jul 14 2014 - Israel's attack on Palestinians condemned in HyderabadThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) A massive protest was held here yesterday to condemn Israel's offensive against Palestinians.Hundreds of activists of the Students Islamic Organisation (SIO) took out a rally ...

 Jul 14 2014 - Qatar- Sheikh Salman is QFC Authority's new CFTOThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) The Qatar Financial Centre Authority (QFC Authority) has announced the appointment of Sheikh Salman Bin Hassan Al Thani (pictured) as its Chief Financial and Tax Officer ...

 Jul 14 2014 - Qatar- Katara draws 68,220 visitorsThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Katara's Garangao celebration on Saturday attracted a record 68,220 visitors, including children and families, of different nationalities. Last year, Katara received 20,000 ...

 Jul 14 2014 - Qatar- MoI to host regional internal security expoThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Brigadier Nasser bin Fahad Al Thani, (pictured)President, 2014 Milipol Qatar Committee, has announced that preparations are underway for the 10th edition of the region's most ...

 Jul 14 2014 - Qatar- 10pc of women prone to diabetesThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Women diagnosed with gestational diabetes during pregnancy are at a high risk of developing diabetes later in their lives, according to a senior health expert. Gestational ...

 Jul 14 2014 - Qatar- QA to take part in 2014 Farnborough Air ShowThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Qatar Airways (QA) is preparing to have a strong presence at the 2014 Farnborough Air Show this week in Southern England. The airline will fly the A350 aircraft with QA's ...

 Jul 14 2014 - The Fading SongMuscat Daily
(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) ''Qaranqashooo,'' a group of young boys yell; their voices booming in the narrow, hushed lanes of Muttrah. They holler again, one of them beating his hands on a makeshift ...

 Jul 14 2014 - Team Oman Sail stays in third spotMuscat Daily
(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) Team Oman Sail finished third in the third offshore leg of the 2014 Tour de France a la Voile (TDV) from Granville to Roscoff in France on Sunday. Groupama 34 crossed the ...

 Jul 14 2014 - Ahmad, Caine on podium at SpaMuscat Daily
(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) The Oman Racing Team (ORT) duo of Ahmad al Harthy and Michael Caine claimed a runner-up finish in round seven and followed it up with a tenth-place result in the round eight ...

 Jul 14 2014 - Alpha Holidays unveils unique holiday packages to world-class destinationsMuscat Daily
(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) Alpha Holidays, a 100 per cent subsidiary of Alpha Tours Dubai and specialised in offering travel management services, has announced a bevy of unique and exciting holiday ...

more...


 






Google

Live Currency Rates

 
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

MENAFN News Market Data Countries Tools Section  
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network
Arabic MENAFN

Main News
News By Industry
News By Country

IPO News
Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

US Markets Details

Commodoties

Oil & Energy

Currencies Cross Rates
Currencies Updates
Currency Converter

USA Stocks
Arab Stocks
 

Algeria 
Bahrain 
Egypt 
Iraq
Jordan 
Kuwait 
Lebanon
Morocco 
Oman 
Palestine
Qatar 
Saudi Arabia 
Syria
Tunisia 
UAE 
Yemen

Weather
Investment Game
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary

My MENAFN
Portfolio Tracker

Voting

Financial Calculators

RSS Feeds [XML]

Corporate Monitor

Events

Real Estate
Submit Your Property

Arab Research
Buy a Research

Press Releases
Submit your PR

Join Newsletters


 
© 2000 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help