Museum in Gaza to display area's rich cultural history





It may sound like the escapist indulgence of a well-fed man fleeing the misery around him. But when Jawdat Khoudary opens the first ever museum of archaeology in Gaza this month, it will be an act of Palestinian patriotism, showing how this increasingly poor and isolated coastal strip ruled by the Islamists of Hamas was once a thriving multicultural crossroad.

The exhibit is housed in a stunning hall made up partly of the saved stones of old houses, discarded wood ties of a former railroad and bronze lamps and marble columns uncovered by Gazan fishermen and construction workers.

And while the display might be pretty standard stuff almost anywhere else - arrowheads, Roman anchors, Bronze Age vases and Byzantine columns - life is currently so gray in Gaza that the museum, with its glimpses of a rich outward-looking history, seems somehow dazzling.




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