Sunday, March 19, 2017

Where is the "Gaza Apollo" Now?

Picture taken in Gaza on September 19, 2013 shows a
2,500-year-old life-size bronze statue of the Greek god Apollo
 discovered by Palestinian fishermen Jawdat Abu Ghrab
(Gaza Ministry of Tourism, AFP) .
Many of the intact ancient bronze statues that have survived from antiquity come from the sea, since those on land were melted down for reuse.(Philippe Bohstrom, "Diving Robbers Are Looting Underwater Treasures, Archaeologists Wail" Haaratz Mar 15, 201)

sometimes wonderful treasures still resurface. One day in 2013, a local fisherman, Jawdat Abu Ghrab, discovered a rare bronze statue of the Greek god Apollo in the sea outside the town of Deir Al-Balah, Gaza. The 1.7-meter-tall work weighed about 300 kilograms. With some help, Abu Ghrab extracted it from the water and put into his family's home, with the statue's male parts covered up. After some weeks, rumors of the statue spread and the Palestinian authorities confiscated it, promising to pay Abu Ghrab some fraction of the statue's value as compensation. The Palestinian Antiquities Authority for one says it's worth around $340 million, according to al-Jazeera, which could help explain why the fisherman reportedly hasn't received the promised compensation. In any case, the statue mysteriously vanished from the public eye in April 2014, though it had been in the possession of the police. Possibly looting isn't confined to thieves 

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