On the one hand, when you find something, you normally get to keep and sell it as you want. On the other the Dead Sea Scrolls are ancient relics. Many governments lay claim to any such relics and then pay the finder for them. The questions are, of course, who determines how much to pay and should such relics be allowed to leave the country -- or even stay in a private owner's hands?
The family that found the scrolls is Palestinian. The Israeli government considers the scrolls a national treasure. Further complicating this situation, Jordanian and Palestinian governments have also laid claim to the scrolls.
The owner says his family offered to sell them to the government but that they could not afford them. Should finders of ancient relics be allowed to put a financial "squeeze" on a country for its national treasures?
- Fragments of Biblical Treasure for Sale (ABC News)