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Sunday, November 26, 2017

Replica of Arch of Titus in New York




Lindsay Neathawk first saw the Arch of Titus on a visit to Rome in 1998. A teenager at the time, she could not have imagined that two decades later she would make the first hi-tech replica of the ancient monument’s famous “Spoils of Jerusalem” panel commemorating Roman forces’s capture of Jerusalem and destruction of the Holy Temple in 70 CE.
Using cutting-edge digital tools, Neathawk, a graphic designer and owner of a sign carving business in Williamstown, Massachusetts, spent a straight 49 days last summer creating the replica.
It was carefully transported in late August to New York City, becoming the centerpiece of the current “The Arch of Titus – from Jerusalem to Rome, and Back” exhibition at Yeshiva University Museum.
The replica is made of high density urethane foam and weighs around 1,000 pounds. It is a one-to-one copy of the panel on the monumental arch erected on Rome’s Via Sacra, the “Sacred Road,” around 82 CE, shortly after Emperor Titus’s death. One of three interior relief panels on the arch, “Spoils of Jerusalem” depicts Titus’s triumphal procession into the Eternal City in July 71 CE. Roman soldiers are seen carrying sacred vessels of the Jerusalem Temple, and at the center is the seven-branched golden menorah.
The replica produced by Neathawk in collaboration with VIZIN: Institute for the Visualization of History, is based on three-dimensional and polychrome scanning conducted in 2012 by an international team of scholars led by cultural historian Dr. Steven Fine, founding director of the Yeshiva University Center for Israel Studies.
Fine, an expert on the Greco-Roman period, immersed himself in the study of the Arch of Titus, and last year published a book on the Menorah and its evolving symbolic significance over 3,000 years.
Fine’s enthusiasm for the monument rubbed off on Neathawk, 37, who decided to take on the Spoils replica project despite having never carved anything bigger or more complicated than signs for local merchants.
“This project was in a totally different league, both in terms of size and intricacy,” Neathawk said.
“But our motto is, ‘If you can think it, we can do it,’ so we went for it,” she said.
According to Fine, a handful of other replicas of the Spoils panel exist around the world. Some are casts, and one is what Fine described as “an artful reproduction.” This latest one is the first to use advanced digital tools to not only make a copy of the relief as it exists today, but also to project onto it what it would have looked like at the time of its original creation.
Archeologist Donald Sanders of VIZIN, who oversaw Neathawk’s work, provided her a digital rendering of the panel based on Fine’s scans from Rome. This was converted into code read by Neathawk’s computer numerical control (CNC) carving machine.
Neathawk used her expertise to choose the correct bits for the CNC machine, many of which broke due to intensity and duration of the carving, which on many days went nonstop around the clock.
Exhibition co-curator Jacob Wisse noted that although the $50,000 replica is a crucial element of the Yeshiva University Museum exhibition, it is not the only star of the show. Also highlighted are rare artifacts from all eras on loan from more than 20 individual collectors and institutions, ranging from the Library of Congress in Washington, to the Israel State Archives in Jerusalem, to the Istituto Luce Cinecittà Historical Archive in Rome.
“The exhibition is about the changing nature of the Arch of Titus, and not only in terms of physical changes, such as its restoration by Pope Pius VII in the 1820s after its falling into a ruinous state by the 19th century,” Wisse said.
“It also looks at how this monument has been appropriated over the course of history as a symbol by everyone from emperors and popes to Jews and Christians, who re-interpreted the meaning of the arch in modern times,” he continued.
The most notable reinterpretation by Jews in the current era is the State of Israel’s adoption of the Menorah as its official symbol in 1949. Exhibition visitor Bonnie Zaben found this to be of major emphasis, and somewhat at the expense of the Spoils replica.
“I really didn’t expect the Menorah as Israel’s symbol to be such a large part of the show. I was actually surprised that the Spoils replica was not more central. It’s the biggest element in the room, but it is at floor level and placed against a wall instead of elevated as a centerpiece,” Zaben said.
“You don’t even see it immediately upon entering the gallery. It’s on a wall to the left of the entrance,” she added.
Wisse said the replica’s placement was deliberate, with it serving as a point of reference, both literally and figuratively, for the entire exhibition. The layout is such that the Spoils panel is repeatedly in visitors’ line of sight as they walk through the various sections of the show.
“The Arch of Titus – from Jerusalem to Rome, and Back” exhibition runs at Yeshiva University Museum until January 14, 2018.


15 comments:

Anonymous said...

She should have corrected the mistake on the Arch of Titus. The branches of the menorah must not be curved - two straight segments on each side. Oy veh. Ask any chabadnik. There will be a protest of thousands of black hats. I wouldn't be surprised if this display will not be vandalized by one of them.

Anonymous said...

The curved, or somewhat curved menorahs are depicted in almost every known piece of archaeology, mosaic, fragments, etc, from hundreds to thousands of years old anywhere in Israel when found. Chabad can scream all day, but the Rambam's depiction is the only one of its kind with straight lines, many hold that Rambam just drew a schematic menorah to explain details.
There is no archaeological evidence whatsoever to prove that Rambam's depiction is actual menorah of the Temple.

Chafraud-Depravitch said...

Yes, Chabad believes the branches of the Menorah were straight.

And they also believe that their Rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson, is Moshiach awaiting to return from the dead (the Chasidic version of Jews for Jesus only less open and honest about it).

AishKodesh said...

It isn't quite so, C_D. Although I don't believe that the Rebbe zt"l will come back as Moshiach (and I am not Chabad), the Gemara does seem to say that it is possible that Moshiach will be someone who already died. Could it be Yushke? No.

Anonymous said...

maybe Jesus got it from us? He was supposedly religious and knew Jewish stuff,time will tell. Nobody knows the real answer to that.

Chafraud-Depravitch said...

Aish,

"Gemara does seem to say that it is possible that Moshiach will be someone who already died."

Yes, I've seen it argued more than a few times, primarily by Lubavitchers with very obvious agendas. It's a real stretch to buy into their dubious interpretation (even if ignoring that MMS failed in other requirements). I don't want to examine it in detail again anytime soon. I'm on the no dead (or no formerly dead) messiah(s) side of the debate.

Unfortunately we appear to be the inventors of the false messiah (living and deceased).
I didn't realize the list was so long!
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Jewish_messiah_claimants

Chabad's stealing shuls is in the news (again) today. What crime will it be tomorrow? I'm sure most Jews have the sechel to realize Chabad's candidate (who dispatched these criminals)is not Moshiach. And Chabad knows this, which is why they are so covert about their beliefs. They know their messianic freakshow will scare away the donors on whom they depend.

They'll have far better luck pushing the straight branch version of the Menorah.


Anonymous at 7:55 PM

"maybe Jesus got it from us?"

He WAS one of us. Like it or not. If not, you're in good company with a lot of fundamentalist Christians who don't want to admit it either.

Anonymous said...

This guy chafraud depravitch is an obsessed, possessed, compulsive anti-Chabad blogger and his venom is strewn on other sites.

Chafraud-Depravitch said...

8:39 PM,

No need to attack me. Defend your beloved fellow messianists of Chabad.


Heh. I'm "possessed?" Maybe one of your neo-Christian Chabad priests can do an exorcism. It's a very popular ritual among non-Jews these days.

Anyway, you can't prove me wrong. Please show me some articles by official Chabad shluchim or sources providing proofs of why the Rebbe was not, is not, and will not be Moshiach. It may exist, somewhere... like a needle in a haystack.

I can readily show you how a Chabad rabbi skirts the question and offers his readers a non-answer to a direct question. Would you like me to blog about it? It's in one of my old drafts. Easy to edit and post if you like. But, as "obsessed" as I am, I really don't publish a lot these days.

One of my kids once asked the child of a local shliach if he thought the (most recently deceased) Lubavitcher Rebbe was Moshiach. The answer: I haven't decided yet. LOL. Clearly he hadn't been taught that it's nonsense by his school nor his parents.
Ask my children. They may laugh, before answering a definitive NO.

Next time, try an argument instead of an attack.

In the meantime, watch my blog for a piece of "moshiach" propaganda I received from a Chabad-Lubavitch recruiter when going to a kosher market in Los Angeles. The weirdo gave me a card identifying 770 Eastern Parkway as "Beis Moshiach."

It's hilarious! (in a sick sort of way)


AishKodesh said...

C_D, Not every comment of yours has to spew Anti-Chabad. I know you had a traumatizing experience, and I feel sorry for you that you did, but you talk very generalizingly against them and very badly of them. There is no need to speak such way at the enormous quantity you speak it -- especially because the generalizations are false because they only apply to certain individuals...

Chafraud-Depravitch said...

Aish,

"because the generalizations are false because they only apply to certain individuals"


Prove to me that they don't apply to the majority of the sect.
I'm quite aware of the exceptions. I've written about them as well. But they don't represent the sect.
Provide me with significant and numerous proofs that I'm wrong. It would be a (hopeful) relief.

And you, and everyone else (with very few exceptions) have no idea what I've encountered in local shluchim. But I know that the Chabad organization will ALWAYS give these monsters a pass.

AishKodesh said...

C_D, I know that I cannot understand what you went through and saw. But B'Ezras Hashem, I will try to bring you proofs of many Chabadniks who are very nice people.

Chafraud-Depravitch said...

I found one (perhaps). At least on the messianism issue.
Just to show you I don't insist on hating everyone associated with the sect:
https://www.villagevoice.com/2008/08/27/the-crown-heights-lubavitchers/
Shmotkin seems to make some sense in the article.
But I don't know the guy. I know enough to not trust him farther than I could throw him. I'd never give him nor his organization a penny. But again, he seems to be making sense in the article. Credit where it's due.

AishKodesh said...

That is nice to see, my dear friend.

Gut Shabbos to you and your family!

Anonymous said...

Good Shabbos Rav Moshe Weineberg of 5 towns

AishKodesh said...

I am not Rav Moshe Weinberger shlit"a, as I have already said. Just a stam, poshute Yid. (And that also is not the reason behind my "username").