A Greek Treasure Pulled From The Sea Disappears Again In Gaza WUTC — Volkswagen Apollo

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A Greek Treasure Pulled The Sea Disappears Again In Gaza

On a Friday in August last Judah Abughorab paddled a flat boat over the Mediterranean Sea about 100 yards off the Strip’s sandy shore.

He really like to eat fish, but them is the unemployed construction favorite pastime.

That he netted a half a dozen. through the clear water, he something that made him again.

It looked like a he says. Eyes, a face, fingers.

Abughorab says he was but dived 5 yards down to a closer look. One touch him the human form was made of

I realized it was a statue, he says. I to move it, but it was so heavy I thought it was to the bottom.

The impoverished, densely Gaza Strip was for centuries a of many different civilizations. and amateurs have uncovered statues, Greek coins, glass bottles and Byzantine in Gaza.

The nearly 6-foot-tall, bronze that Abughorab from the sea — with the help of a dozen cousins and a lot of rope — is touted by the few who have seen it as a treasure: an ancient statue of the god Apollo.

A donkey cart hauled the up a sandy cliff to Abughorab’s The same day, one of his relatives the statue into a tuk-tuk and it away for safekeeping.

Officials the Hamas government, which the Gaza Strip, say they Apollo in storage now. al-Borsh, director of Gaza’s Department, hopes this god can help forge ties Western institutions.

We want to direct connections with institutions who share our aim of protecting the he says.

Direct connections is the key for Hamas. Considered a terrorist by the U.S. and the European Union, hopes interest in preserving apparent rare find crack the door of isolation.

If not restored in the right way, it be destroyed, says Borsh. I think they will another Apollo.

Last top Hamas officials expressed in getting the organization off Western Borsh hopes cultural might now travel to Gaza to see laying groundwork for future relationships. He says the Louvre has interest in helping restore the something a Louvre spokesperson

The Gazan government is handing out of Apollo and promising to show the thing soon. Wealthy antiquities collector Jhoudat says he has seen a video of the god pulled from the sea. He sleep that night, he

What a beauty, what a what good luck, says. So happy that an important statue was found in

He hedges on whether the statue was for at that time, but he says he did not buy it. archaeologist and restoration expert al-Otol worries the statue deteriorate if it’s not stored in carefully regulated conditions. But he dreams of Apollo helping are far-fetched right now.

It is that the statue will the government political connections at point. They haven’t shown Apollo, Otol They are just talking it, and that won’t get them

Photos of Apollo show a brown and green statue its left eye, two fingers and a Abughorab, the man who found it, says he off one of Apollo’s fingers with a hammer soon after it home.

It had a certain shine, so we thought we find out what kind of it was before doing anything he says.

The Hamas government the finger was melted. The fisherman it’s back with Abughorab doesn’t want the he says, but is hoping for a substantial

www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE HOST:

From NPR News, is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I’m Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK,

And I’m Melissa Block.

The Strip is known for being an densely populated flashpoint in the The Islamist party Hamas, to run Gaza a few years ago, is as a terrorist group by the U.S. and Union. But Gaza is also the of valuable antiquities. And now, Hamas officials hope an Greek god — a statue of at least — can help some ties with the

NPR’s Emily Harris the tale.

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EMILY HARRIS, Gaza’s western edge is the Sea. Judah Abughorab is one of men in Gaza who like to fish.

ABUGHORAB: (Through translator) my hobby. I love fishing. And if I get a to sell a few fish, all the better.

HARRIS: One Friday last Abughorab tossed his net from a boat 100 yards offshore. He a half a dozen fish and a of something that scared

ABUGHORAB: (Through translator) I was because it looked like a Eyes, a face, hands, So I dove down. When I it, I realized it was a statue. I tried to it but it was so heavy, I thought it was tied to the

HARRIS: Lots of rope, the and six cousins hauled the find A donkey cart lugged it up the cliff to Abughorab’s home. The is being touted as a real The few people who’ve seen it say it is a six-foot tall, curly-haired bronze of the Greek god Apollo. But the day it was one of Abughorab’s relatives took the away for safekeeping. It hasn’t seen in public since.

Gazan antiquities collector Khodary says that after that, someone him a video of the god statue pulled the sea.

JHOUDAT KHODARY: night, I didn’t sleep. a beauty, what a treasure, good luck. So happy such an important statue in Gaza.

HARRIS: Gaza has been a for thousands of years. Archeologists and have uncovered ancient in Gaza, Greek coins, glass bottles and Byzantine Khodary says he did not buy the Apollo.

When it come to Apollo, a noncommercial issue. It’s historical issue.

HARRIS: The government hopes this might build bridges to cultural institutions. Director of antiquities department, Ahmed says Hamas now has Apollo lock and key.

AHMED (Through translator) We want to direct communications with institutions who share our aim of protecting the

HARRIS: Gazan archeologist and expert Fadel al-Otol the statue will deteriorate if not stored soon in carefully conditions. But he says dreams of helping Hamas are far-fetched now.

FADEL AL-OTOL: translator) As a Palestinian and as an expert in restoration, I think it’s that the statue will the government political connections at point. They haven’t shown Apollo. They’re talking about him, and won’t get them anywhere.

The government is handing out photos. In of them, Apollo rests on a decorated with Smurfs. The looks splotchy brown and His left eye is missing, along two fingers and one thumb. The fisherman who the statue says he whacked off one of fingers with a five-pound

ABUGHORAB: (Through translator) It had a shine, so we thought we should out what kind of metal it was doing anything else.

The Hamas government says the was melted. The fisherman says back with Apollo, the Greek god might be. Emily NPR News. Transcript provided by Copyright NPR.

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