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Thursday, May 31, 2012 | return to: news & features, international


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Ancient mosaic irreparably damaged

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Haredi Orthodox extremists are suspected of causing irreparable damage to an ancient mosaic on the floor of a fourth-century synagogue in Tiberias.

Some of the mosaic tiles at the Hammat Tiberias synagogue in northern Israel were smashed into tiny pieces and other parts were deeply scratched in an attack that occurred the night of May 28. Graffiti also was sprayed on the site.

The damage reportedly will cost millions of dollars to repair.

Those suspected of causing the damage are opposed to archaeological excavations of ancient graves, according to reports. Graffiti at the site read “on each grave — a site” and “a response over the years.”

The mosaic is the earliest such synagogue mosaic to have been discovered in Israel. — jta


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