BAR 35:01, Jan/Feb 2009
Forgery Case Collapses
On October 29, 2008, the San Francisco Chronicle headlined a story by Matthew Kalman, datelined Jerusalem, “Case Involving Jesus’ Brother Burial Box Hoax on Verge of Collapse.”
The next day the Biblical Archaeology Society issued the following press release:
The reputation of the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) is in shambles. After a nearly four-year trial (and still counting), 75 witnesses and more than 5,000 pages of testimony, what has been billed as the “forgery trial of the century” is about to collapse. The Israeli judge who will decide the case has advised the prosecution in open court to consider dropping the case. The evidence isn’t there.
The story was reported by Matthew Kalman in the San Francisco Chronicle, and from there around the world. He described Judge Aharon Farkash’s evaluation as a “humiliating collapse” of the government’s case and “a major embarrassment ... for the [Israel] Antiquities Authority.”