(Haaretz) At the entrance to The Palace antiquity store in the Old City of Jerusalem, is a display window with 2,000-year-old ancient glass vessels. Or at least they look ancient. A foreign tourist entering the store seeking to buy a tiny Roman glass vial can expect to pay $600 for the privilege.
Yet despite the steep price, owner Yusuf Hamad deliberately smashed one of the vials on the floor when Eitan Klein entered the store.
Klein works for the Israel Antiquities Authority and Hamad’s destruction was in protest at the authority’s supervision of the store’s operations.
Other antiquities dealers are also threatening to smash quantities of antiquities, if the authority forces them to use a new computerized management database for the Israeli antiquity trade. The battle over the new system, according to the antiquities dealers, is a fight over the survival of the antiquities business, but the Israel Antiquities Authority sees it as a fight to curb trafficking in stolen archeological finds.