Israel's Antiquities Authority says it is building a national archaeological center to house nearly two million ancient artifacts, including the world's largest collection of Dead Sea Scrolls.
The authority said Tuesday the center in Jerusalem will serve as a research center for Israeli archaeology and history, and will house a library of some 150,000 books, archives on local excavations from the past century and conservation and restoration labs. Some 15,000 Dead Sea Scroll fragments, currently in government custody at the Israel Museum, will also be stored there.
The center, designed by Israeli architect Moshe Safdie, is being built next to the Israel Museum and will be inaugurated in 2016. It will eventually serve as the authority's headquarters.
The Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation of Cleveland is funding the project.
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