March 25, 2011

Khirbet Madras Byzantine Mosaics Vandalized

Shmuel Browns points to an article in Ynet (Hebrew) about last night’s destruction of mosaics in the recently excavated Byzantine church at Khirbet Midras. The church’s beautiful mosaics were left open to visitors for a brief period of time before they were slated to be covered until preservation works could be carried out. In this time, tens of thousands of visitors have come to view the nearly intact mosaics. The archaeologists have theories about who may have destroyed the site and await the police’s investigation. They believe the damage can be restored if there is sufficient funding. About fifteen years ago, a well-preserved rolling stone tomb at Khirbet Midras was destroyed by vandals. Browns has several photos showing the destruction of the mosaics.