IAA issues press release reacting to forgery trial verdict
In its press release reacting to Wednesday’s forgery trial verdict, the IAA says that it “praises the efforts of the Jerusalem District Attorney’s Office in the case and is proud of the State’s determination in looking out for the broad public interest.” The IAA points to the fact that a poor Palestinian who was originally a defendant in the case was dismissed in exchange for pleading guilty to a minor offense of lying about an antiquity. But this was not the IAA’s only victory: The court also found that Oded Golan, the owner of the ossuary with an inscription mentioning Jesus, was guilty of several minor offenses, most importantly trading in antiquities without a license.
The IAA claims that “the benefits of placing the [forgery] issue on today’s agenda [by bringing this suit] are immense.” Because it has done this, the IAA declares that there has been “a dramatic change in the conduct of archaeological research in Israel and abroad.” The IAA’s claims are broad, but no evidence is given.
The IAA still hasn’t given up, however, despite the lack of evidence. The IAA continues to maintain that “the [forgery] industry operated in the Israeli antiquities market for at least fifteen years. The [IAA] investigation has raised suspicion that hundreds of supposed archaeological exhibits were forged, altered and marketed in the country and around the world to collectors and other entities for large sums of money.”
Why didn’t all this come out in the trial?
For another view of the evidence, see Hershel Shanks, “Verdict: Not Guilty.”
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