Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Mystery of Lost Time

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T is today's letter at ABC Wednesday and TIME is tonight's theme at City Daily Photo. Click here to view thumbnails for all participants.
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"Traduttori traditori" the old Italian saying claims.
Translators traitors.

Here in the sign for the exhibit "The Mystery of Lost Time" we wish the Hebrew zman ganuv could have been translated more literally as "stolen time," because that is exactly what happened.

One night in 1983 a thief bent the window bars in Jerusalem's Museum for Islamic Art and made off with 106 artifacts and paintings and the whole collection of timepieces.
It was hailed as the costliest theft in Israeli history and included a pocket watch made by famed watchmaker Abraham-Louis Breguet for French Queen Marie Antoinette that museum officials valued at more than $30 million.

The watches and clocks started to return to the museum just a few years ago.

A deathbed confession and the written will of the thief was the long-awaited breakthrough in the case.

Absolutely NO photos were allowed when I recently viewed the exhibit, but you can see a 2-minute video of the collection here, if you have TIME.

23 comments:

Sylvia K said...

I'm glad things are being returned, it's tragic to lose pieces of history like that. It was very interesting to read of the death-bed confession! How often does that happen, I wonder??? Great post for the day as always, Dina! Thanks for stopping by! I have been very close to a couple of tornados and they are terrifying! Just glad this one wasn't one of those I was near to!! Have a great week!

Sylvia

Jew Wishes said...

What amazing history behind the great photo.
Shabbat Shalom, early.
Hanukkah Sameach.

Reader Wil said...

It's good all the stolen goods were returned to the museum. These artifacts are priceless. The collection is worth seeing! Thanks for this interesting post. Thanks for your visit to my blog about Taizé. I am sure you know more about this community than I. I also like the song. We often hear it now in church before the service, and during the service we sing several other of these Taizé songs. I don't know if there is a CD with these songs. Probably there is!

Jedediah said...

At least the pieces are being returned. A 30 million watch...wow. I always wonder who steals something like that or who hires a thief to steal it - they can't show it to anyone after all.
I noticed that the street signs are very similar to the ones in Germany, by the way :)

And yes, I did get to pet a tapir, several times actually because you can reach over the fence at the zoo and the tapirs will sometimes even come to you to be scratched. I always keep my fingers away from their snout, though, those teeth are a bit too huge for my taste ;)

Caroline said...

Wonderful post for the Time theme!

Rob and Mandy said...

Great story, worth of a book. Good one, Dina!

Julie said...

Which begs the question, 'Why'? Why did he steal the time-pieces and why did he never serve time for his crime?

Spiderdama said...

Great post Dina!
Lucky you to have such a heat in november.. I think it`s Hannukkah soon? So I say Happy Hanukkah!:-)
Hugs from Norway!

Dina said...

Thanks for your ideas, friends.

Julie, he was in jail for a bank robbery and then later for another crime, but the police didn't at first know it was Diller who robbed the museum. Only when he died in a few years ago in the USA and left the loot to his ex-wife/widow did she start selling some of the watches in Los Angeles. Now SHE has been convicted, at age 64, and faces several years on probation and hundreds of hours of community service.
In January 2009 enough of the timepieces had been retrieved that the museum opened this current exhibition.
See
http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk/45932,news-comment,news-politics,the-strange-story-of-marie-antoinettes-self-winding-watch

and/or the link in my post.

Dina said...

Spiderdama, thanks. Yes, first candle of Chanuka is Wednesday evening.

"All things French" said...

Amazing story ~ I watched the video and the clocks are very beautiful ~ imagine the clock made for Marie Antoinette valued at $30 million.

xx
Dianne

VP said...

Another link to an interesting article: I remember the heist, but I didn't know that it was... 'solved'!

Hels said...

I have been to the Museum for Islamic Art in Jerusalem and absolutely loved it. But I wasn't aware of the thefts and didn't miss what I didn't know about. What a tragedy

Roger Owen Green said...

Fascinating article definitely worth the TIME to read.

ROG, ABC Wednesday team

Kay said...

Wow! A 30 million dollar watch? That's incredible. I wonder if that was returned. Oops! Did I miss that link? I'll go back and check. I did take the time to watch the video. That was amazing!

Sara said...

That thievery story reads like a novel. Fascinating. Now I will watch the video.

ρομπερτ said...

ha, if only I knew where time has gone to. great pictures indeed, history as well. Please have a good new month.


daily athens

Cloudia said...

"If you have time"

LOL

Stolen moments indeed!

Aloha from Waikiki

Comfort Spiral

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J Bar said...

An interesting post.

Jilly said...

What a story and therefore a fabulous post for today's theme. Thank goodness the timepieces are slowly being returned to the museum. You always tell us such fascinating things, dear Dina.

cieldequimper said...

Wonderful post for today.
You can have all the marzipan!

Francisca said...

What an interesting T post, Dina. Stolen time, indeed. Curious that this story would be reported by the Huffington Post...

JM said...

What a story! I watched the video and I think that must be a fantastic exhibition. Thanks, Dina. Very clever entry on the theme.