A very rare illustrated cycle created in Germany about 700 years ago will be sold today at a great price, bAuction Of the auction house “Southa bite“To be held in New York. The monetary value of the turnover is estimated by the auction house at about $ 4-6 million. The opening price is $ 3.2 million, and the sale, which includes only one item, will take place at 18:00 Israel time. Symbolically and not financially. , However, eighty have the illustrated cycle as one of the most important Jewish manuscripts in the world and criticize the fact that once sold it may be kept privately owned.
The book is called the “Luzzatto Cycle” because it was owned by biblical commentator and poet Samuel David Luzzatto from Padua, Italy until the end of the 19th century, but it was written and aired in the late 13th or early 14th century in Bavaria, in southern Germany today.
The person who purchased the special cycle for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur after Lucato passed away was the French “All Israel Friends” organization – Alliance – which was established in 1860 and works for Jews around the world mainly in matters of education. The organization has now decided to sell the rare book, to fund some of its activities in the coming years.
The cycle is illustrated in a style that was common in the Middle Ages, but very rare in Jewish manuscripts from that period. “It is one of the rarest illustrated manuscripts from before 1300,” Colette Sirat, an expert in Jewish literature in the country, told the French newspaper Le Monde. The newspaper reported that the Jewish and academic community in France was very upset by the Alliance’s decision to put the rare book up for auction.
According to Sirat, there are less than 20 illustrated Jewish manuscripts from that period, and this is the only cycle that is in private hands today, which may again pass into private hands at a sale to be held tonight. The manuscript has been shown to the public only twice – in 1991 as part of an exhibition on Jewish writings at the National Library of France and in 2018 at the Rouen Museum of Antiquities.
An online petition by French cultural figures, from within and outside the Jewish community, called on the French government to declare the manuscript a national treasure, and to prevent its sale. However, this did not happen. It is possible that the fact that the cycle was written outside of France played a role in the French decision. “The cycle attests both to the history of the Jews deported from France and in general to the customs of the Ashkenazi Jews,” another researcher told the newspaper.