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
Apr 23 2014Omantel launches service package for youth ,MENAFN
(MENAFN) Omantel announced launching 'Ozone' plan, a new package designed especially for the youth. This comes with the company"s constant efforts to enhance the communication needs of its customers, ...

Apr 23 2014Dh154 billion for Arabtec projects ,Khaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Arabtec will spend dh140 billion on building one million low-cost houses in egypt and dh14 billion on five mixed-use residential projects in abu dhabi and dubai its chief ...

Apr 23 2014?Titli? makers excited about Cannes selection ,Khaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) The movie about the badlands of delhi?s dystopic underbelly will be in competition as part of the un certain regard section of the 67th cannes film gala to be held may ...

Apr 23 2014Saudi- Yaroub Bashraheel: In search of peace ... underwater ,Arab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) You've heard of diving snorkeling and other water activities but rarely has anyone heard of free-diving. it's a form of diving underwater without the aid of any breathing ...

Apr 23 2014Saudi- Schneider highlights intelligent health care solutions at forum ,Arab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) Schneider electric a global specialist in energy management is set to showcase its leadership in intelligent health care solutions at the second saudi forum for planning and ...

Apr 23 2014Saudi- Divorcees can seek housing ,Arab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) The kingdom will accept applications from saudi divorced women and widows for financial and housing support said justice minister muhammad al-issa.al-issa called on applicants ...

Apr 23 2014Dewa and GE explore collaboration opportunities ,Khaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Saeed mohammed al tayer managing director and chief executive officer of the dubai electricity and water authority (dewa) recently received a ge delegation to explore ...

Apr 23 2014Saudi- New passport office opens at Red Sea Mall ,Arab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) The passport department has opened a new office for citizens and residents at the red sea mall.gen. abdul rahman bin abdullah al-tuwairki deputy director general of the ...

Apr 23 2014Local international companies come out in force ,Khaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Cityscape abu dhabi has started showing stronger interest from property developers who have showcased their upcoming projects. the three-day realty show was opened by ...

Apr 23 2014Sale of Gate Towers penthouses launched ,Khaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Aldar properties has launched the sale of 21 exclusive duplex penthouse apartments at gate towers the penthouse collection in shams abu dhabi on al reem island. one of ...

Apr 23 2014ADCB profit grows 26% in first quarter ,Khaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Abu dhabi commercial bank?s profit grew 26 per cent in the first quarter of the year to dh1. however net profit rose 22 per cent year-on-year. non-interest income was 24 ...

Apr 23 2014Saudi Savola Group revenue up 43 pct in Q1 ,MENAFN
(MENAFN) Saudi Arabia's Savola Group registered a 43 percent increase in profits in the first quarter, well over expectations of analysts, Arabian Business reported. According to a statement to ...

Apr 23 2014ADCB NIC in Dh950 million deal ,Khaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Abu dhabi commercial bank or adcb this week inked a dh950 million term facility to provide national investment corporation or nic the developer of the breakwater area in ...

Apr 23 2014Gitex Shopper Spring 2014 to open doors today ,Khaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Gitex shopper spring 2014 is set to open doors today with best bargains on latest tech products along with millions of dirhams worth of prizes during the four-day ...

Apr 23 2014'Piles and piles' of bodies in S. Sudan ,Arab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) Nairobi: gunmen who targeted both children and the elderly left 'piles and piles" of bodies — many of those in a mosque — in a provincial capital in south sudan the un's top ...

Apr 23 2014UAE- Billion-dollar realty projects on show ,Arab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) Cityscape abu dhabi a three-day realty event that began with 120 regional and international exhibitors witnessed major announcements on tuesday.salama bint hamdan al-nahyan ...

Apr 23 2014Saudi- Ministry launches complaint center for domestic workers ,Arab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) The labor ministry has launched a first-of-its-kind multilingual communication center to address complaints and grievances voiced by the kingdom's 1.2 million domestic ...

Apr 23 2014Kowait- Police deportation powers curbed ,Arab Times
(MENAFN - Arab Times) Kuwait city april 3 (afp): kuwaiti police will no longer be able to deport expatriates without interior ministry approval under new rules published thursday after officers ...

Apr 23 2014Kowait- Amiri Diwan urges all off tape case ,Arab Times
(MENAFN - Arab Times)  kuwait city april 9 (agencies): the amiri diwan has called on everybody to steer clear of the controversial tape issue and let the public prosecution take the necessary ...

Apr 23 2014Qatar's MPHC net profit hits USD127m in Q1 ,MENAFN
(MENAFN) Qatar's Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding Company (MPHC) announced that a net profit increase in the January-March period of this year, The Peninsula Qatar reported. The company, a leading ...

more...


 
Click to Apply






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
Marketwatch News
UPI News
Comtex News

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