Antiquities dealer Robert Deutsch, an acquitted co-defendant in Israel’s “forgery trial of the century,” filed a suit against the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) for over $3 million in damages. A detailed report on the suit was recently published by Matthew Kalman, a Jerusalem-based journalist who has reported extensively on the forgery trial, on the Bible and Interpretation website
. Kalman reports that the suit “charges the Antiquities Authority, Public Prosecutor and the named defendants with slandering Deutsch through false accusations, damaging his health, and destroying his professional and academic reputation by pursuing a prosecution based on charges that were demonstrably false.”
Deutsch announced his intentions to sue the IAA last year. During the trial, BAR editor Hershel Shanks described Deutsch’s background:
A Romanian immigrant to Israel, Deutsch is a successful antiquities dealer with shops in some of the most exclusive hotels and areas of Tel Aviv. But Deutsch is—or, at least before this case, was—also a respected scholar. He has written a bundle of books on seals and inscriptions, some with highly regarded Haifa University professor Michael Heltzer and another with internationally renowned Sorbonne scholar André Lemaire. Deutsch himself taught at Haifa University—at least he did before this case. He is also an archaeologist. He served as an area supervisor in the excavation of Megiddo—before this case. In short, this case has been devastating for Deutsch. In many ways, it has destroyed his life.
Click here to read Kalman’s report on the Bible and Interpretation website.
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