Hundreds of thousands of tourists from all over the world are expected to visit the spectacular Lod mosaic this summer, at the initiative of the Israel Antiquities Authority

History is being made at the Louvre Museum in Paris. For the first time an official Israeli exhibition will be displayed in the world’s most visited museum.

The spectacular Lod mosaic that was uncovered in an archaeological excavation by the Israel Antiquities Authority will be on display in the Cour du Sphinx (Sphinx Courtyard) in the Roman wing of the museum between May 23 (tomorrow, Thursday) and August 19. So far the mosaic has been shown at five museums in the United States, foremost among them a successful presentation held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and a total of c. 700,000 visitors have attended the exhibitions in America.

Until today only a number of private Israeli artists have been exhibited in the Lourve, and now, for the very first time, an official Israeli exhibition will be displayed in the French museum. According to the director of the Israel Antiquities Authority, Mr. Shuka Dorfman, “This is a great honor and achievement for the Israel Antiquities Authority and a wonderful opportunity for the millions of visitors to the museum to see the masterpiece from Lod and learn about the archaeology and history of the Land of Israel”.

The 1,700 year old mosaic, one of the most magnificent and largest ever revealed in Israel, was uncovered in the city of Lod in 1996 and covered over again in order to protect it. In 2009, after obtaining the necessary funding to expose it, the Israel Antiquities Authority renewed the archaeological excavation there and removed the mosaic from the site in order to conserve it. The mosaic constitutes a rare archaeological gem that is extraordinarily well-preserved. It measures approximately 180 square meters and is composed of colorful carpets that depict in detail mammals, birds, fish, flora and the sailing and merchant vessels that were used at that time. It is thought the mosaic floor was part of a villa that belonged to a wealthy person in the Roman period.

The Shelby White and Leon Levy Lod Mosaic Archaeological Center, which will be constructed in the city of Lod where the mosaic was discovered, is presently in the advance stages of planning. The center is scheduled to be opened in the autumn of 2014.

Preparations are now being made in France for exhibiting the mosaic to the public: the Louvre is holding a festive opening event sponsored by the Israeli embassy in Paris, attended by the president and director of the Musée du Louvre, Mr. Jean-Luc Martinez, representatives of the Israel Antiquities Authority and donors, and on the opening day of the exhibit the museum will hold a news conference in which this most impressive and exceptional find will be presented.


Click here for the Lod mosaic exhibition announcement on the Louvre Museum website.


Click here to be redirected to the Lod mosaic website of the Israel Antiquities Authority