In The Footsteps Of A Master Forger


 In 1883, respected antiques dealer Moses Wilhelm Shapira claimed to possess ancient scrolls of Deuteronomy. The text differed slightly from the accepted version: It had an 11th Commandment

Six months after the most important archaeological discovery of its time was declared a fake, the man who offered it to the world ended his life with a bullet to the head. His tragic suicide left unsolved one of most fascinating puzzles of the era. Had it really been bogus? Or could Moses Wilhelm Shapira have brought to light the world’s oldest copy of Deuteronomy, only to have it rejected by a battery of experts?

Follow the fortunes of this intriguing figure by taking an imaginary jaunt through the streets of Jerusalem (or a real trip, if you live in Israel). The route begins just inside Jaffa Gate at Christ Church, which was to become Shapira’s home-away-from-home.

It continues on to a Maronite Convent, moves through the cheerful shops on Christian Quarter Road and ends at the gallery/restaurant of Beit Ticho.

Christ Church was the first Protestant church in the entire Middle East, and the only evangelical church in the region. Outwardly resembling a grand European synagogue more than a Christian house of worship, it was erected in 1849 by the London Society for the Promotion of Jews to Christianity for the express purpose of drawing Jews into the Christian fold.


Read the full article over at The Times of Israel

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