Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Chicago scholar attacks Seattle scrolls exhibit

Since initiating this blog, our attention has been drawn to Norman Golb's review article "The Dead Sea Scrolls at Seattle's Pacific Science Center". The link is:

Golb's article

(1) provides a detailed account of the exhibit's omissions and slanted presentation of evidence;

(2) includes a list of specific questions that visitors to the exhibit should ask themselves as they examine the presentation of the items on display;

(3) notes that "the American Association of Museums ... has for many years publicly expressed a determined opposition to notably one-sided exhibits of controversial subjects"; and

(4) concludes by demanding that the public be informed of any financial support provided by donors under the condition that the Scrolls be depicted in exhibits as the writings of a "sect living in the desert."

Golb's critique of an earlier scrolls exhibit, entitled "The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Ethics of Museology", appeared in The Aspen Institute Quarterly: Issues and Arguments for Leaders (1994). The link is: http://oi.uchicago.edu/OI/PROJ/SCR/MUSEOLOGY/ethics_of_museology.pdf