Museum to pay compensation over lost print press

Haifa's Madatech national science museum has been ordered to pay NIS 120,000 compensation to a local family after "losing" the family's antique printing equipment, reports A court ordered the museum to pay the compensation, but the question of what exactly happened to the items remains a mystery. According to the report, Polish immigrant Tsvi Pilfreud, a pioneer of the printing trade in Israel, brought his German-made printing presses with him when he immigrated to Israel in 1949, and continued to use the equipment in his daily work. After Pilfreud passed away in 1976, his sons took over the printing business, and in the 1990s the family decided to lend the by-then outmoded equipment to the museum to place on display. But the report said the antique items were never exhibited and were apparently lost. Recently, the family sued the museum for the value of the lost equipment and for mental anguish. The report said the museum argued that the items had been donated and not lent to it, and that it did not owe the family anything. The museum also argued that in any case their value was lower than the family was claiming. But the court ruled that the items had indeed been lent and not donated, and that because the museum had lost them, the family deserved compensation. The report said the only remaining question was how the large, heavy equipment used for printing could have disappeared into thin air.