Quotes: 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."

 


AFP




  MENA News Headlines
 Jul 7 2015 - Dollar price against Egyptian pound stabilises, market anticipates CBE's next stepDaily News Egypt
(MENAFN - Daily News Egypt) he price of the US dollar against the Egyptian pound stabilised on Monday after witnessing two consecutive increases on Thursday and Sunday, during which it increased by ...

 Jul 7 2015 - Egypt- Are Ramadan charity campaigns backfiring?Daily News Egypt
(MENAFN - Daily News Egypt) A happy family gathering around Iftar after a long, tiring day of fasting turns into sadness and sorrow while watching a little girl on TV with a burned face crying out ...

 Jul 7 2015 - Egypt- Holy month unleashes hail of donation campaignsDaily News Egypt
(MENAFN - Daily News Egypt) With the beginning of Ramadan, a major burst of commercials asking for donations took over each and every TV channel. The excessive amount of commercials is not a foreign ...

 Jul 7 2015 - FIFA's Blatter unwittingly pinpoints football governance's prime issuesDaily News Egypt
(MENAFN - Daily News Egypt) Embattled FIFA president Sepp Blatter unwittingly put his finger on two fundamental issues that underlie a corruption scandal that has rocked world football governance, ...

 Jul 7 2015 - Emaar Egypt shares decline to EGP 3.71 per shareDaily News Egypt
(MENAFN - Daily News Egypt) Emaar Egypt's shares were traded at EGP 3.71 per share, lower than the price of their initial public offering (IPO), on the second day of Egyptian Stock Exchange (EGX) ...

 Jul 7 2015 - New budget of EGP 5bn allocated to Cairo Capital project: Housing MinisterDaily News Egypt
(MENAFN - Daily News Egypt) The New Urban Communities Authority (NUCA) has adopted its new budget for the current fiscal year (FY) 2015/2016, valued at EGP 33.2bn, according to Minister of Housing ...

 Jul 7 2015 - Egypt- Qalaa Holdings signs initial agreement to exit Misr Glass Manufacturing Company: Official statementDaily News Egypt
(MENAFN - Daily News Egypt) Qalaa Holdings Company, alongside a number of Misr Glass Manufacturing Company share holders, signed an initial agreement to sell 15.18% of the latter company's shares to ...

 Jul 7 2015 - Egypt- EATC organises annual meeting, suppliers currently stand by board of directorsDaily News Egypt
(MENAFN - Daily News Egypt) The Egyptian Automotive and Trading Company (EATC), the Volkswagen and Audi agent in Egypt, held its annual meeting in an Iftar in the presence of Karim Naggar, EATC's ...

 Jul 7 2015 - Egypt- Tetra Pak still pursuing recycling project, looks at other partnersDaily News Egypt
(MENAFN - Daily News Egypt) Tetra Pak, a leading food processing and packaging solutions company, is still pursuing the recycling project it announced in 2013 with Akef Pack-tec, an Egyptian shopping ...

 Jul 7 2015 - Egypt -Ministry of Tourism sets cost of participating in 3 international exhibitions at â‚2,500: ETAADaily News Egypt
(MENAFN - Daily News Egypt) The Ministry of Tourism set the cost for companies and hotels participating in the next three tourist exhibitions, which will be held outside Egypt until April 2016, at ...

more...


 






Google

 
 

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

Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

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
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary


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


 
© 2014 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help