Dead Sea Scroll fragments at Museum of the Bible revealed to be forgeries

by Bryan Brammer · Mar 14th, 2020 12:11 pm

The Dead Sea Scrolls on display at the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C. have been confirmed as fake, according to investigators.

Of the museum's 16 fragments, which were purchased during a time when many counterfeit artifacts entered the market after 2002, five of them were examined and confirmed fake by Art Fraud Insights in October 2018.

In February 2019, the museum hired investigators to thoroughly inspect the remaining 11 scroll fragments.

After six months of imaging, analysis and examination, the investigators determined that the Dead Sea Scrolls were "deliberate forgeries."

"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," the report reads. "Moreover, each exhibits characteristics that suggest they are deliberate forgeries created in the twentieth century with the intent to mimic authentic Dead Sea Scroll fragments."

Plans to rework the current Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit will be announced during a conference at the Museum of the Bible on Sunday.

The investigators' findings have no impact, nor do they cast any doubt, on the scrolls on display at the Shrine of the Book Complex in Jerusalem.


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