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Wednesday, 21 May 2014

'Jehoash Tablet' returns to owner

Oded Golan gets back the tablet, which may be the only known remnant of Solomon’s Temple, after an 11-year legal battle with Israel Antiquities Authority.

by Matthew Kalman

HAARETZ, May 21, 2014

An inscribed stone that may be the only remnant of Solomon’s Temple has been returned to its owner after an 11-year legal battle waged by the Israeli government.

The Jehoash Tablet, also known as the “Bedek Habayit” inscription, is back in the hands of Tel Aviv collector Oded Golan, who plans to put it on public display in a major museum.

Golan finally retrieved the tablet and hundreds of other items more than two years after he was acquitted of forging priceless antiquities in a seven-year criminal trial and nearly a year after the High Court finally rejected a last-ditch appeal by Israel's state attorney and the Israel Antiquities Authority.

After more than a decade of confrontation, Golan tells me he does not wish to be rushed into his next move.

“Now I should exhibit it,” he says. “When, where, how – I don’t know. I’ll make a decision in the next year.”

“But it should go on display in a major museum so the public can see it for themselves, together with all the test results carried out before and during the trial,” he says.