Historic Copy of Hebrew Bible Returns to Spain to Go on Display in 2020
JNS.org – One of the oldest and most expensive copies of the Hebrew Bible was returned to Spain, where it was created in 1476, and will go on display next year.
The Kennicott Bible, with more than 900 pages, will be showcased in the city of Santiago de Compostela—a Christian pilgrimage site in northern Spain and the capital of the Galicia region—on April 12, 2020, announced the local government of Galicia.
It was written by Moisés Ibn Zabara and illustrated by Joseph Ibn Hayyim for Isaac di Braga, an influential Jewish businessman from Galicia. It’s now worth millions of dollars.
Oxford University, which owns the copy of the Bible, will lend it to the Museo Centro Gaiás in Santiago for an exhibition titled “Galicia: A Story of the World.”
The bible turned up at Oxford in the United Kingdom in 1771.
It is unclear how it made its way there, but was taken to Portugal and then North Africa before its whereabouts were unknown for about 300 years. Many Jews fleeing the Spanish Inquisition that began in 1492 smuggled out books and artifacts that would have been censored or destroyed on the Iberian Peninsula.