A Jerusalem Court acquitted an antiquities collector on most counts of forgery on Wednesday, eleven years after the case was first opened.
Oded Golan, along with four others, was originally indicted for selling forged antiquities, including the Jehoash inscription, a shoebox-sized tablet inscribed with Biblical-style Hebrew instructions on caring for the Jewish Temple, and an ossuary, or ancient burial box bearing the inscription, “James, brother of Jesus.”
Judge Aharon Farkash, of the Jerusalem District Court, was careful to not rule that the items were authentic. He did rule, however, that after years of discussions and professional investigations, Israel was not able to prove that the artifacts were forged.
The court’s decision came after two professional committees on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority ruled that the items were indeed forged. According to the state attorney, Golan did not forge the items themselves, but he did add inscriptions that increased their worth significantly. Golan claimed that the inscriptions were authentic, and brought various experts to testify.
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