The Response of the Israel Antiquities Authority to the Verdict by the Jerusalem District Court in the Matter of the Forgeries Trial

Posted in: Antiquities Market, Archaeology in the News, Cultural Heritage and Property, Inscriptions
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"Johoash Inscription" that most scholars have determined is a modern forgery; photo credit: courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority

This morning (Wednesday, March 14) the verdict was published in the prosecution’s case—the State of Israel vs. Oded Golan, Robert Deutsch, et alia—Criminal Case 482/04. [This post is taken from the IAA website and re-posted on the ASOR Blog]

In response to the decision by Judge Aharon Farkash of the Jerusalem District Court, the Israel Antiquities Authority announces the following: The Israel Antiquities Authority respects the court’s decisions. The Israel Antiquities Authority praises the efforts of the Jerusalem District Attorney’s Office in the case and is proud of the State’s determination in looking out for the broad public interest in the country and abroad, which states it is forbidden to meddle in the history of the peoples that lived and live in the Land of Israel.

The prosecution’s efforts resulted in the conviction of one defendant in this case in the past, and today the court acquitted Oded Golan of forgery and fraud charges on a basis of reasonable doubt, and found him guilty of three counts of violating the Antiquities Law and possession of suspected stolen property. The charges in some of the offenses were cancelled due to the statue of limitations. According to the judge, “The absolute truth was not a guiding light for Golan”. (more…)

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6 Comments for : The Response of the Israel Antiquities Authority to the Verdict by the Jerusalem District Court in the Matter of the Forgeries Trial
    • Robert Deutsch
    • March 15, 2012

    I was acquitted of all the fabricated charges and I will sue the IAA after having my scholarly reputation ruined by the false accusations.

    I repeat, I was declared not guilty on all charges.

    “They ruin my name and for that I will sue them for all of my expenses and all of my damages. Before the lawsuit, I had taught at Haifa University and had excavated at Megiddo. Not any more. My expenses in the lawsuit were more than $650,000.

    More than 120 witnesses tried very hard to connect me with forgeries—unsuccessfully because there is no connection. All they were trying to do was spoil my name – and they will pay for that.

    The real reason the IAA went after me is because I am both a scholar and a licensed antiquities dealer. They told me several times during the investigation that I "contaminated the academy" because I am an antiquities dealer.” I received my license from the IAA and that makes me a criminal. They told me several times that they will close my business, most importantly, because I am both a scholar and a dealer. I had the impudence to write and publish books despite being a dealer. For all of these things, they will pay, they are the real criminals here, ruining a scholar’s name and reputation. I don’t mind how long it will take, they will pay.

    • Dr. David Tee
    • March 15, 2012

    The judge came to the right decision and Mr. Deutsch has the right to be angry and to sue.

    • Robert Deutsch
    • March 15, 2012

    What the IAA tried to do was nothing less than a viscious, vindictive and spiteful attempt to discredit me for nothing less than petty reasons of jealousy and evil intent.

    What the IAA has demonstrated is a narrow minded attitude. Through this trial they have cost the taxpayers millions of wasted money as well as wasted time and energies of the IAA which could have been projected at more useful activities, such as looting, destruction of sites or preservations.

    No amount of money can compensate enough for all the damage they have caused to me. The leaders of the IAA if they have any dignity and honour must now resign their jobs.

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    • Robert Deutsch
    • March 18, 2012

    This is exactly what we have to avoid. The epigraphic material has to be published and not do hide.

    And I don't understand – why a legal licensed by the IAA trade in ancient art is "shadowy" ?

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