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 deveopments," 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
 Dec 9 2016 - UAE packaging paper industry to grow by 5pctMENAFN
(MENAFN) UAE paper and packaging industry is increasing fast in the MENA region, reaching a market valued at USD2.3bn and will remain an annual growth rate of 5 percent till 2019.Meanwhile, Paper ...

 Dec 9 2016 - Qatar aims USD13bn investment in infrastructure projectsMENAFN
(MENAFN) Qatar is ready to pump almost USD13bn on mega infrastructure projects in the country in the coming year with a main focus on projects related to the FIFA World Cup 2020.Moreover, the country ...

 Dec 9 2016 - GCC, UK confirm to make closer tiesMENAFN
(MENAFN) A mutual summit between GCC leaders and British Theresa May confirmed to launch the GCC-UK Strategic Partnership to enhance relations in all fields.Moreover, UK will spend more than 3bn euro ...

 Dec 9 2016 - Qatar expected to have 912,000 cars by 2020Gulf Times
(MENAFN - Gulf Times) The number of passenger cars in use in Qatar is expected to reach about 912,000 units by 2020, registering the highest annualised growth of 5.4% in the Gulf Co-operation Council ...

 Dec 9 2016 - Prime Minister condoles with Moroccan PMGulf Times
(MENAFN - Gulf Times) HE the Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani held a telephone conversation with the Prime Minister of Morocco Abdelilah Ben ...

 Dec 9 2016 - Qatar believes in protecting religious freedom: MinisterGulf Times
(MENAFN - Gulf Times) HE the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Sultan bin Saad al-Muraikhi chaired Qatar's delegation to the Ninth Bali Democracy Forum, which kicked off in Bali, Indonesia, ...

 Dec 9 2016 - Qatar- Commercial Bank participates in prestigious CSR conferenceGulf Times
(MENAFN - Gulf Times) Commercial Bank, Qatar's first private bank, has participated at the annual Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Conference for organisations in Qatar. The CSR Conference, ...

 Dec 9 2016 - Qatar- Prime Minister honours persons with disabilitiesGulf Times
(MENAFN - Gulf Times) HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani attended a ceremony held by national institutions to support persons with ...

 Dec 9 2016 - MEC recalls KIA Optima 2016 modelGulf Times
(MENAFN - Gulf Times) The Ministry of Economy and Commerce (MEC) has announced a recall of Kia Optima, model year 2016, due to a noise in the right front axle drive shaft. The recall is being ...

 Dec 9 2016 - Qatar- Ooredoo urges public to download 'Inland Sea' applicationGulf Times
(MENAFN - Gulf Times) Ooredoo has urged those who travel or camp at the Inland Sea to download its recently-updated desert navigation app as the camping season comes to full swing. The ...

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

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