FANDOM


From the longer Wikipedia page [1]

Moses Wilhelm Shapira (Hebrew: מוזס וילהלם שפירא‎; 1830 – March 9, 1884) was a Jerusalem antiquities dealer and purveyor of fake Biblical artifacts. The shame brought about by accusations that he was involved in the forging of ancient biblical texts drove him to suicide in 1884. The discovery of the Dead Sea scrolls in 1947, in the same area he claimed his material was discovered, has cast significant doubt on the original forgery charges.

In 1883 Shapira presented what is now known as the Shapira Strips, fragments of supposedly ancient parchment he claimed to have found near the Dead Sea. Their inscriptions of ancient Semitic script hinted at a different version of the Ten Commandments and Deuteronomy. Shapira sought to sell them to the British Museum for a million pounds, and allowed them to exhibit two of the 15 strips. The exhibition was attended by thousands.

However, Charles Clermont-Ganneau] also attended the exhibition; Shapira had denied him access to the other 13 strips. After close examination, Clermont-Ganneau declared them to be forgeries. Soon afterward British biblical scholar Christian David Ginsburg came to the same conclusion. Later Clermont-Ganneau showed that the parchment of the Deuteronomy scroll was cut out of a genuine Yemenite scroll that Shapira had also sold to the museum.

Shapira left London and wandered around Europe for months. He shot himself to death in Hotel Bloemendaal in Rotterdam on March 9, 1884.

The Shapira Scrolls disappeared and then reappeared a couple of years later in a Sotheby's auction, where they were sold for 10 guineas. In 1887 they were possibly destroyed in a fire at the house of the final owner, Sir Charles Nicholson. Shapira fakes still exist in museums and private collections around the world but are rarely displayed

Despite the claims of Clermont-Ganneau, significant doubt about the Scrolls being a forgery has been raised. Some archeologists now believe the scrolls may have been the real artifact, and not a forgery as previously assumed. It is uncertain if the Scrolls were destroyed in a fire, as previously suggested.

The exact location of Shapira’s shop on Christian street in Jerusalem has now been identified.

Ad blocker interference detected!


Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.