But as I continued to ponder the matter, a strange fact jumped out at me. The occasion for the New York Daily News article was that the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) had returned the ossuary, or bone box, to its owner, Tel Aviv antiquities collector Oded Golan, after seizing it ten years ago and charging Golan in a criminal indictment with forging the inscription. After a lengthy trial, Golan was acquitted and there was no longer any basis for the IAA to continue to confiscate the ossuary.
Since I was commenting here on a New York Daily News story about the ossuary’s return to Golan, I thought I should also look at what the Israeli press had to say about this dramatic culmination of the IAA’s decade-long attempt to condemn the ossuary inscription.
After five years, the “forgery trial of the century” has concluded in a Jerusalem courtroom and defendants Oded Golan and Robert Deutsch have been acquitted of all forgery charges. In our free eBook James, Brother of Jesus: The Forgery Trial of the Century, Hershel Shanks explains why he believes the now-famous “James Ossuary” inscription is authentic. Plus, he provides behind-the-scenes analysis of the trial and its key players.