A not-so-very long while ago a news story broke via Twitter that appealed not only to the geek in me (specifically the classics, film and museum varieties) but also piqued an interest that only comes from suffering through a Catholic Education. I’ve been meaning to write about it since I heard, but alas, finding the time to blog has been difficult recently…
There is an iconic scene at the end of an iconic film where we see what an iconic character (played by the iconic Harrison Ford) has done with a certain iconic artefact from a certain iconic biblical episode.
So iconic is everything that I’ve had to use the word ‘iconic’ eight times so far. Perhaps I should invest in a Thesaurus?
The iconic (that’s 9 now) artefact is the Ark of the Covenant, which was given unto Man when God gave unto Moses the 10 Commandments. It wandered in the desert with the Jews for 40 years before coming to rest in the Temple of Solomon, which was subsequently sacked by the Babylonians. It seems that along with the Tomb of Alexander (of ‘the Great’ fame) it has been uncovered on the Greek island of Thasos.
While the evidence for this actually being the Ark and the tomb really being Alexander’s is sketchy it raises an interesting issue…
If this IS the Ark, what should Greece do with it?
It would be an important link to the ancient world, so naturally it belongs on display. The ark is important to people the world over, so following this logic it would belong in a museum. However, would it belong in a Greek museum?
It would be a Greek find so, on the one hand, YES.
Consider this though, the Ark was given unto Man on Mount Sinai (or was made in that region by Moses’ followers) and so isn’t a Greek artefact. Mount Sinai is-technically- in Egypt, and following the logic that pieces belong in their country of origin; it should be repatriated, right? Or, does it belong in Israel alongside other important Judeo-Christian relics?
Maybe the Vatican would be the Ark’s spiritual (and ultimately physical) home?
Until Dr. Jones verifies the facts, I still believe that the Ark can be found in that warehouse.