From ‘mosque’ to museum

A mosaic of rich Ottoman and British history tells Beersheba’s story

By YOCHEVED MIRIAM RUSSO
August 30, 2012 17:03
Beersheva Museum of Archeology

Beersheva Museum of Archeology 521. (photo credit: Goel Drory)

Beersheba’s Old City has added a new museum to “Museum Row,” but don’t call it “the mosque.” According to Goel Drory, curator for Beersheba’s new Museum of Archeology, the elegantly restored Ottoman-era structure might look like a mosque on the outside but in fact, never in its 106-year history did it serve in that capacity.

“It’s not a mosque,” Drory notes, as he begins a tour. “It was never sanctified. From the beginning it was used for other purposes – meeting rooms, as a courthouse, a school and other functions, but Muslim prayers were never conducted here. They were held in another building down the street.”

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