A collection of Dead Sea Scroll fragments held at a Washington, D.C. museum have turned out to be fake, an investigation has revealed.
What We Know:
- Considered to be among the most significant archaeological finds of all time, the scroll fragments – most of which are dated to between the third and first centuries B.C. – contain some of the earliest versions of biblical texts, as well as other writings, shedding light on the history of the Jewish people and the origins of Christianity.
- In 2016, 13 of the 16 fragments obtained by the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C. were published by a team of experts. Some expressed concern over the authenticity of these fragments given that all were purchased after 2002 when a significant number of suspected forgeries appeared on the market.
- Following this find, the museum contacted Colette Loll, founder and director of Art Fraud Insights, in February 2019 and put together a team of experts to investigate whether the 16 fragments held by the institution were authentic.
- In a statement, Colette Loll, stated: “After an exhaustive review of all the imaging and scientific analysis results, it is evident that none of the textual fragments in Museum of the Bible’s Dead Sea Scroll collection are authentic. Moreover, each exhibits characteristic suggest they are deliberate forgeries created in the twentieth century with the intent to mimic authentic Dead Sea Scroll fragments.”
“Notwithstanding the less than favorable results, we have done what no other institution was post-2002 DSS fragments has done, the sophisticated and costly methods employed to discover the truth about our collection could be used to shed light on other suspicious fragments and perhaps even be effective in uncovering who is responsible for these forgeries.” – Dr. Jeffrey Kloha, Museum of the Bible Chief Curatorial Officer
If you want to know more about this unbelievable scam, read the museums 200 page report.