June 8, 2023

One of many world’s oldest surviving biblical manuscripts will probably be housed on the Museum of the Jewish Folks in Tel Aviv.

The 1,100-year-old Hebrew Bible, one of many oldest surviving biblical manuscripts on the planet, was bought on Wednesday for $38 million in New York Metropolis.

The Codex Sassoon, a leather-bound handwritten parchment quantity containing the practically full Hebrew Bible, was purchased by Alfred Moses, the previous US ambassador to Romania.

Moses bought the traditional textual content on behalf of the American Mates of ANU, the Museum of the Jewish Folks in Tel Aviv, the place he’ll add to the gathering, Sotheby’s mentioned in a press release.

The manuscript was displayed on the ANU Museum in March as a part of a pre-auction world tour.

Sotheby’s Judaic scholar Sharon Lieberman Mintz mentioned the $38 million value, together with the public sale home’s charge, “displays the profound energy, affect and significance of the Hebrew Bible, which is the indispensable pillar of humanity.”

This is likely one of the highest costs for a manuscript bought at public sale. In 2021, a uncommon copy of the US Structure bought for $43 million. Leonardo da Vinci’s Codex Leicester was bought for $31 million in 1994, or about $60 million in immediately’s {dollars}.

Mintz mentioned she is “completely delighted with immediately’s monumental end result and that Codex Sassoon will quickly be making its grand and everlasting return to Israel for the world to see.”

The Codex Sassoon is believed to have been created someday between 880 and 960.

It acquired its title in 1929 when it was purchased by David Solomon Sassoon, the son of an Iraqi Jewish enterprise magnate who stuffed his London house along with his assortment of Hebrew manuscripts.

Sassoon’s property was divided after his demise, and the bible codex was bought by Sotheby’s in Zurich in 1978 to the British Railway Pension Fund for about $320,000, or $1.4 million in immediately’s {dollars}.

The pension fund bought Codex Sassoon 11 years later to Jackie Safra, a banker and artwork collector who purchased it in 1989 for $3.19 million ($7.7 million in immediately’s {dollars}). Safra was the vendor on Wednesday.

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