The Washington, DC, Museum announced on Monday that a German laboratory had performed a series of tests on five of its 16 fragments, which showed "characteristics incompatible with ancient origin."
"Although we had hoped that the exam would yield different results, this is an opportunity to publicize the importance of verifying the authenticity of rare biblical artifacts, the sophisticated testing process, and our commitment to transparency," said Jeffrey Kloha, the museum's chief curator, in a statement. "As an educational institution entrusted with cultural property, the museum upholds all the museum legal and ethical guidelines for the care of the collection, research and exhibition."
The fragments have been exhibited in the $ 500 million museum since its grand opening last November alongside more than 3,000 other artifacts, including a first edition of the King James Bible and a page from the Gutenberg Bible
More: The Museum of the Bible debuts in the capital of the country
More: The opening of the Museum of the Bible, created by the owner of the hobby lobby, arrives with some controversy
The question of the authenticity of the scrolls was raised by two years before being sponsored by scientists conducting research sponsored by the museum, according to the statement. The museum sent the fragments in April 2017 to the Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing for an analysis of the color and sediment layers.
During the research, the fragments in addition to "Information on Enlightenment" in the museum were further exhibited to guests about the importance of determining the authenticity and about the skepticism of some scholars regarding the authenticity of the fragments.
The museum said the inauthentic artifacts would be replaced by three more fragments while further analysis is being carried out.
"The museum continues to support and promote research on these and other objects in its collection to both the public To inform about the latest research methods and to ensure that our exhibits present the most accurate and up-to-date information, "said Kloha.
The Museum, one of the largest books in the world devoted to the Bible, is the brainchild of hobbyists Lobby, Steve, and Jackie Green Just last year, Hobby Lobby was forced to pay a fine of $ 3 million and return thousands of antiques it had bought and smuggled out of archaeological sites in Iraq. More: A look at antique sales in Israel after the hobby lobby scandal
More: The battle for Titanic artifacts intensifies as museums launch a campaign to "bring home" items
Nancy Trejos and Mike James, USA TODAY
Follow N'ance Yancey-Bragg on Twitter: @NdeaYanceyBragg
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