The centuries-old Sarajevo Haggadah will stay in Bosnia for the foreseeable future, despite an offer from the Metropolitan Museum in New York to display it on long-term loan.
Jakob Finci, the president of the Jewish community in Bosnia, told JTA on Wednesday that in a meeting this week, the Bosnian Commission for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage had decided that “now is not the time” to lend the 600-year-old manuscript to the Met. The decision comes despite the fact that Bosnia’s National Museum, which owns the haggadah and where it has been kept, closed down last year for lack of funds.
Finci said a delegation from the Metropolitan Museum would be in Sarajevo later this month, but he was “not optimistic” that the cultural heritage commission would change its decision.
The Associated Press quoted Ljiljana Sevo of the monuments preservation commission as saying that the Sarajevo Haggadah could not be lent because of the unresolved status of the national museum and financial difficulties.
Some in the Bosnian media have speculated that the haggadah might not be returned from New York.