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Professor Steven Fine Presents Research at 16th World Congress of Jewish Studies

Studying the Arch of Titus Menorah Panel (photo courtesy of the Arch of Titus Digital Restoration Project)Revel Professor Steven Fine, also director of the Yeshiva University Center for Israel Studies, recently presented some of his cutting-edge research on the Arch of Titus at the 16th World Congress of Jewish Studies, held at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem from July 28 to August 1, 2013. His lecture focused on 20th-century interpretations of the Arch’s Menorah panel and their contemporary implications for Jewish nationalism and collective memory.

“The Congress was a great opportunity to hear lectures from rising talent, to meet with close colleagues and to renew professional and personal relationships,” said Fine, who was able to visit archives, museums and archaeological sites on the sidelines of the conference. “I am returning with new collaborative projects with Israeli colleagues beginning to incubate and with new documents and artifacts to write about.”

Fine is the director of the Arch of Titus Digital Restoration Project. Last summer, he led an international team of scholars in a pilot study of the Arch’s Menorah panel in Rome. Traces of the original gold paint were detected on the Menorah relief, an exciting discovery verifying the Temple menorah’s gold color.

Now, Fine says he is ready to begin writing his new book, “The Menorah: A Biography,” which he hopes to submit to his publisher, Harvard University Press, next summer. The book will explore symbolism, legends and interpretations connected to the biblical menorah and Arch of Titus Menorah panel from ancient to modern times.

(Photo of Menorah panel research courtesy of the Arch of Titus Digital Restoration Project)