Nesma seif write
Oxford University is probing claims that one of its academics sold ancient fragments of Bible from a charity’s archive to a US company.
Classics professor Dirk Obbink has been accused by the Egypt Exploration Society (EES) of selling 11 pieces from its Oxyrhynchus Collection.
The items – held at the university’s Sackler Library – ended up at the Museum of the Bible in Washington DC.
Prof Obbink, who has been contacted for comment, remains at the university.
The ancient Greek texts written on fragments of papyrus were originally found during the early 20th Century in the Egyptian city of Oxyrhynchus.
In a statement on its website, the EES says the museum has told it that the fragments were sold by the lecturer in papyrology.
The charity said: “The MOTB [Museum of the Bible] has informed the EES that 11 of these pieces came into its care after being sold to Hobby Lobby stores by Prof Obbink, most of them in two batches in 2010.”
It added it had not reappointed the professor as general editor of the collection in 2016 because of “concerns which he did not allay” over his alleged involvement in the marketing of ancient texts.