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by Bruce W. Smith - Special to GCN     Filed 5/9/05

MOBILE—Hundreds of visitors filled the exhibition halls of the Gulf Coast Explorium Science Center in Mobile when the door opened Sunday morning on the last showing of the Dead Sea Scrolls. A thousand more would follow before the doors closed on the exhibit for the last time.

The Dead Sea Scrolls, historical treasures which were scribed millennia ago in the Judean Desert, are considered the most powerful words ever written.

As one older visitor tearfully said, “This is one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences that leave a special feeling. I never dreamed I’d be standing here looking at the very source of the words we read in the Bible. It’s breathtaking.” 

Explorium officials say more than 200,000 visitors walk the exhibition in Mobile. The ancient biblical artifacts have been on loan from the Israel Antiquities Authority and put on a very limited U.S. tour through The Dead Sea Scrolls Foundation and Public Museum of Grand Rapids.

Mobile was the only location in the southern United States to be the recipient of the archaeological and theological treasures. The exhibition opened January 20th.

When the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition closed late Sunday afternoon, the priceless artifacts next stop is being meticulously re-packed and placed in special containers. Then, under heavy security, shipped to Atlanta and then back to their home in Israel.

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