Loading
Investigative report provides little-known facts about Gospel of Judas phenomenon

.- The Gospel of Judas, a third-century manuscript unearthed in Egypt three decades ago, is surrounded by questionable circumstances. A report published in the New York Times Thursday reveals the particulars that the National Geographic Society omitted two weeks ago in its announcement that it had gained access to the 1,700-year-old document.

In its recounting, National Geographic says the gospel was found by farmers in an Egyptian cave in the late 1970s, sold to a dealer and passed through various hands in Europe and the United States.

In 2000, art dealer Frieda Tchacos Nussberger bought it for about $300,000 from another dealer who had placed it in a Long Island safe-deposit box. She tried to sell it to the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University, but Yale declined, reported the New York Times.

Yale officials did not specify to the New York Times why it did not buy the document, but the newspaper reports that Robert Babcock, curator of early books at the library, said through a spokesperson that "there were unresolved questions about the provenance."

The following year, Tchacos Nussberger sold the document to an antiquities dealer in Ohio for $2.5 million, but that fell through when the dealer did not make the payments, reported the Times.

Aided by her lawyer, Mario Roberty, she regained ownership of the document and, at his suggestion, turned it over to the Maecenas Foundation, which Roberty established years earlier, the Times reported.

The foundation, run exclusively by Roberty, is involved returning antiquities to their countries of origin, the lawyer told the newspaper. He also told the Times that when Tchacos Nussberger gave the document to the foundation in 2001, he quickly contacted officials in Egypt and assured them that the manuscript would be returned.

The Times reported that under the deal with the foundation, Tchacos Nussberger, 65, is entitled to receive about $2 million from gospel-related projects. The sum is equivalent to what she would have received from the Ohio dealer, minus the value of several pages of the manuscript the dealer bought. In addition, she is entitled to recoup about $800,000 she lent to the foundation for legal costs and early restoration efforts.

Roberty told the Times the foundation had already started paying money to Tchacos Nussberger; he declined to say how much she has received so far.

The Times’ report also reveals that Tchacos Nussberger was detained several years ago in an unrelated Italian antiquities smuggling investigation. She and Roberty claim the issue was not very serious and that her dealings in antiquities in Italy and elsewhere had been lawful.

As for the National Geographic Society, it claims it has taken on the project to help save a unique historical document, reported the Times. It claims that a critical aspect of its contract with the Maecenas Foundation was the group's pledge to return the document to Egypt.

National Geographic did not buy the document. Instead, it paid $1 million to the Maecenas Foundation for the rights to use the manuscript's contents and to tell its story. The Times also discovered that part of the revenues generated by the National Geographic’s gospel-related projects will go to the foundation.

National Geographic is running a large campaign for the Gospel of Judas, featuring it in two new books, a television documentary, an exhibition and the May issue of its magazine.

In one book, authored by Herbert Krosney, Tchacos Nussberger says she is motivated by religious conviction to save the document. "I think I was chosen by Judas to rehabilitate him," she is quoted as saying. Krosney is an independent television producer who brought the gospel project to National Geographic.


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
The tombs of the early Christians
Missionaries of Africa, called "the White Fathers"
Italian youth give testimony after mission to Peru
Interview with Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See on the persecution of Christians
New book 'The Vatican unknown'
A Look at India from Rome
3D Church mapping
#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Aug
23

Liturgical Calendar

August 23, 2014

Saturday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 23:1-12

Gospel
Date
08/23/14
08/22/14
08/19/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Ezek 43: 1-7AB
First Reading:: Mt 23: 1-12

Saint of the Day

St. Rose of Lima »

Saint
Date
08/23/14
08/19/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 23:1-12

Homily
Date
08/23/14
08/22/14
08/19/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: