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February 16, 2003

World famous Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition sent to U.S. for rare showing

Does This mean there were Jews living in the middle east before 1948? I guess it depends upon what you read and who is talking
The only scheduled exhibition of the Dead Sea Scrolls from the Israel Antiquities Authority will go on display this week at the Public Museum of Grand Rapids' Van Andel Museum Center. The highly anticipated exhibit will run from February 16th through June 1.

First discovered in 1947 by a Bedouin shepherd, the Scrolls include some of the earliest surviving text of the books of the Old Testament - written more than 2,000 years ago.

"I have been the assistant public relations officer at the museum for five years and have never seen the degree of excitement and anticipation we (the staff) are experiencing now," Peter Daly Daly told Israel21c. "Some days my phone just rings non-stop with calls from newspapers, television stations, radio stations, all wanting to do a story about Dead Sea Scrolls in Grand Rapids. I also get calls from individuals who just want to be sure they can get tickets to see the scrolls. We know we are going to draw visitors from throughout the Midwest. I know of a lady in Virginia who has already ordered tickets," he said.

Daly added that the exhibit is providing a big challenge for the entire Museum staff regarding work being done to upgrade their security technology to protect the scrolls and artifacts, and to accomodate huge crowds.

"We expect to have 150,000 visitors to see the Dead Sea Scrolls, maybe 200,000 or more" Daly said adding that the Van Andel Museum Center is Michigan's oldest historical museum turning 150 years old in 2004.[more]