Gift from Robert and Renee Belfer, which includes more than 300 ancient Greco-Roman and Near-Eastern glass vessels, comes as institution celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.
Two New York philanthropists are donating a major collection of more than 300 ancient Greco-Roman and Near-Eastern glass vessels to the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.
The gift from Robert and Renee Belfer was announced by the museum Wednesday. It comes as the institution celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. An exhibition titled "A Roman Villa – The Belfer Collection" showcasing approximately 100 of the objects will be on view at the Israel Museum from June 5 through November 21.
The collection is "one of the most important private holdings of antiquities anywhere," museum Director James Snyder said in a telephone interview from Jerusalem.
He called it a "transformative gift" of "pristine" and "superlative" examples that will strengthen and enhance the museum\’s current collection of Greco-Roman artifacts.
"For us it\’s like the exquisite icing on the cake," he said.
The collection includes cast vessels and blown and mosaic glass pieces, ranging from the 14th century B.C., the Late Bronze Age, through the 14th century, the Islamic period.
There are also about 50 important works of Greco-Roman sculpture and relief work, including bronze and marble sculptures, mosaics, frescoes and pottery.