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March 15, 2012 12:31 pm

14th Century Jewish Masterpiece Comes to The Met in New York

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14th centruy Haggadah. Photo: John Rylands University Library.

Manchester University’s Steve Mooney will be arriving soon in New York City with one of the world’s rarest pieces of medieval Jewish literature and art – an original 14th century Hagaddah (the book of Passover).

The Hagaddah, which is part of Manchester’s John Rylands University Library, will go on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art beginning March 27th.

Mooney spent 8 months conserving the book, which originated in Catalonia, Spain, ensuring its quality and originality.

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“One slip of the hand and you could remove a fragment of gold leaf or pigment by mistake. My job is to take it to the museum by hand into a secure area where it will acclimatise before going on display,” he told The Jewish Chronicle in Great Britain.

James Lindsay, the 26th Earl of Crawford, acquired the Hagaddah during the 19th century, adding it to his collection of rare books.

“The Rylands Haggadah is among the top ten individual items of greatest significance within the JRUL’s Special Collections, in terms of its research, cultural, heritage and financial value,” said Dr Yaakov Wise of the University of Manchester, to the Jewish Chronicle.

The Metropolitian Museum of Art exhibit will run until September, 30th, with one page of the Hagaddah being turned each month, “affording visitors the exceptional opportunity to follow the artist’s telling of the Exodus story,” according to the museum.

To read more information on the exhibit, click here.

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