Museum housing Sarajevo Haggadah closes

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The museum keeping the centuries-old Sarajevo Haggadah closed Oct. 4 due to a lack of funds.

Jakob Finci, the longtime leader of the Jewish community in Sarajevo, said Sarajevo’s 125-year-old National Museum shut down due to a  “lack of money, financing and support from the state.” He said the Haggadah would be kept in a safe place. The museum has owned the Haggadah, handwritten in Spain in the 14th century and brought to Sarajevo following the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492, since 1894. During the Bosnian war in the 1990s, the lavishly illustrated book became a symbol of the shattered dream of multiethnic harmony in Bosnia. When the war ended in 1995, the U.N. Mission, along with the Bosnian Jewish community and other Jewish groups, facilitated the book’s restoration and safe-keeping. — jta