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Through Time and Space: The Diary of Astronaut Ilan Ramon and a Scroll from the Dead Sea

Curators: Adolfo Roitman, Hagit Maoz, Michael Maggen                                                                                                                           Hebrew edition only

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Bilingual English-Hebrew edition

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Two months after the Columbia space shuttle disaster in February 2003, pages from the diary of Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon were found scattered in a Texas field, having miraculously survived the explosion. The pages underwent a complex process of restoration and reconstruction at the Israel Museum’s Paper Conservation Laboratory and the Israel Police Division of Identification and Forensic Science, which revealed the text to be mostly personal reflections of great emotional impact. Published as a set accompanying the 2019 exhibition are a facsimile of Ramon’s diary and a catalogue encompassing the story of the challenging process of restoring and deciphering the severely damaged pages; an essay by Adolfo Roitman, Head of the Shrine of the Book, revealing surprising similarities between Ramon’s diary and the Enoch Scroll; and the extraordinary story of a miniature Torah scroll that survived the Holocaust but was destroyed in the Columbia tragedy – but which turned out to have a “twin” in Berlin that was displayed in the exhibition. Although, sadly, Rona Ramon passed away before the opening of the exhibition, the astronaut’s widow was its moving spirit and a true partner in the development of its moving narrative.

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