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Friday Aug. 6, 2010 7:04 PM (EST+7)
Gaza home turns into Palestinian museum

Read more: Gaza, Gaza Strip, museum, Palestinian museum, antiquity, Marwan Shahwan, antiquities, antiques

RAMALLAH, Aug 6 (JMCC) - A life long love of antiquities has inspired one man in the Gaza Strip to convert part of his home into a museum.

Marwan Shahwan has spent his entire life collecting antiques, which are now on display and open to the public.

The 165-square meter museum, situated on the ground floor of Shahwan's house, includes antiques dating back to Roman, Byzantine, Islamic and Palestinian eras.

Full of inscriptions, beautiful geometric designs and ancient coins, the museum also has traditional dresses Palestinian women wore before 1948 and hand-made copper masterpieces.

It took me some 25 years to build up my museum, the 45-year- old Shahwan, who travels around Gaza to look for antiques, told Xinhua.

I worked hard and visited popular markets on a daily basis to buy antiques, said Shahwan, who spend most of his time collecting and fixing antiques, I also got antiques from friends and relatives.

I started my adventure of collecting since I was a child, he said.

Shahwan's museum has been visited by both Arab and Western delegations interested in learning the history of the Gaza Strip, however, Shahwan has never asked them to pay for their visits.

I refuse to run my museum for commercial purposes and I also refuse to receive big delegations for fear that the crowds would destroy the antiques, Shahwan said, adding the place is not big and doesn't have any protection, especially the small pieces.

Shahwan dreams of one day being part of a national Palestinian museum. The Palestinian Authority recently signed agreements with the French government and various institutions to cooperate on opening a major museum in Palestine.

Read more at Xinhua...






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