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Treasures from 2,000 years to go on display

    Bride's pendant from eastern Europe
    Bride's pendant from eastern Europe

    A 15th-century map of the Holy Land and a bound volume of the first copies of the JC are to go on sale as part of a major new exhibition of Judaica.

    Due to open in central London next month, 2000 Years of Jewish Culture is the fulfilment of a long-held dream of collector Bernard Shapero, founder and CEO of Shapero Rare Books.

    The show is the first of its kind in a UK private space and encompasses every aspect of Jewish life, from philosophy, religion, literature and photography to fine art and jewellery.

    "It's very exciting," Mr Shapero said. "I wanted to put together a show which showed the positive side of Judaism, all the good and great things about being Jewish."

    The exhibition features some 100 items from around the world. Highlights include 2,000-year-old fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the first printed version of Hatikva, art by Lucian Freud, some of which has not been shown before, one of the earliest Jewish cookbooks published in Britain, written by Lady Judith Montefiore, and a precious collection of wedding rings.

    Map of Palestine from 1482; illustration by Lucian Freud
    Map of Palestine from 1482; illustration by Lucian Freud

    There are also first editions of Theodor Herzl's Der Judenstaat (The Jewish State), the famous pamplet setting out the Zionist cause, as well as manuscripts written by David Ben Gurion.

    "It's the most fantastic snapshot of Jewish culture and life which has never been presented like this before," said Mr Shapero.

    "I think there's a huge market of interested people who would want to buy something Jewish that they can relate to."

    The show is open to the public and every item is for sale, with prices ranging from several hundred to several thousand pounds.

    Curator Bela Goldenberg Taieb said: "The assembled artifacts offer a truly compelling picture of the Jewish contribution to world culture."

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