Ancient Apollo Statue Found in Gaza, Hamas Mulls Exhibition

Bronze Apollo found by fisherman and valued at tens of millions of dollars, dating from 1,800-2,500 years ago, is being held incognito somewhere in Strip.

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail

In an Interior Ministry office somewhere in Gaza stands an ancient bronze statue of the Greek god Apollo, discovered last August by a local fisherman and valued at $20 million to $40 million or more, Bloomberg Businessweek reports.

The discovery is credited to Gazan fisherman Jouda Ghurab, 26. However, Ghurab's claim to have come upon it in the waters off the Gazan shore is disputed by foreign archeologists who've seen photos and videos of the statue; they say there would have been sea encrustations and water damage if it had lain in the sea for centuries.

At first Ghurab and his family tried to sell the statue, which is estimated to be 1,800 to 2,500 years old. At one point it turned up on Ebay at an opening price of $500,000. But the Gaza Strip's isolation and the difficulty of transferring the statue to a buyer made the idea of selling it unworkable, so Ghurab turned it over to Hamas authorities – with the understanding that he would receive a reward.

The Louvre has expressed interest in preserving the statue. An unnamed American museum has also been in touch with the Strip's Islamist authorities about caring for the find.

"We are keeping the door open to cooperation with any government," said Muhammad Ismael Khillah, assistant undersecretary of Gaza's Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities. He said a public exhibition in the Strip was also a possibility – even though Apollo's uncovered genitals would violate the Hamas regime's modesty regulations.

"We will have to cover it in certain places," Khillah said.

The ancient statue of the Greek god Apollo, found in Gaza.Credit: Tourism and Antiquities Ministry in Gaza / Reuters
The ancient statue of the Greek god Apollo, found in Gaza.Credit: Tourism and Antiquities Ministry in Gaza / Reuters

Click the alert icon to follow topics:



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN


בנימין נתניהו השקת ספר

Netanyahu’s Israel Is About to Slam the Door on the Diaspora

עדי שטרן

Head of Israel’s Top Art Academy Leads a Quiet Revolution

Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

Skyscrapers in Ramat Gan and Tel Aviv.

Israel May Have Caught the Worst American Disease, New Research Shows

ג'אמיל דקוור

Why the Head of ACLU’s Human Rights Program Has Regrets About Emigrating From Israel


Netanyahu’s Election Win Dealt a Grievous Blow to Judaism