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Durham man expelled from Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit

Posted January 4, 2009

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— A Durham man wearing a shirt criticizing Israel and instructing people not to buy tickets to see the Dead Sea Scrolls was expelled from the exhibit and asked to leave the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, museum spokeswoman Emelia Cowans said.

D.J. Register, who is a volunteer escort for the elderly, brought a holocaust survivor to see the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit at the museum on Friday, Cowans said.

When Register started walking around the museum, employees asked him to either turn his shirt inside out or zip up his jacket. When Register refused he was asked to leave the museum because he did not have a permit to protest in a state government building.

Both Register and the woman he was escorting were refunded the money for the exhibit tickets.

The exhibit began June 28 at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and ended Sunday. The exhibit originally was supposed to end Dec. 28 but was extended.

The scrolls contain the oldest known copy of the Hebrew Bible. They date back more than 2,000 years and are considered one of the most important archaeological finds ever.

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  • wral mods blow close my account Jan 5, 2009

    ridgerunner: "And to read that some are so misguided as to think Bush and Chaney have any real control over what Israel does."

    If we yank military aid (in the billions) from Israel, they'll listen. They are using our tax dollars for their never ending war.

  • ridgerunner Jan 5, 2009

    And to read that some are so misguided as to think Bush and Chaney have any real control over what Israel does.

  • diogenes Jan 5, 2009

    People make statements all the time after paying hefty prices that "people shouldn't buy these tickets," they should "boycott" this place, etc, as this person did. Not reported by the Museum was that before this person was expelled he submitted an OPEN RECORDS LAW REQUEST to Angela Baker James, (919) 733-7450, ext. 351, for release of financial data surrounding the exhibit. The Capitol Police left the man wearing the sign upon the sidewalk saying that his actions didn't constitute a protest without a permit, but they had to follow the orders of Museum management. Sadly, it was the holocaust survivor and her escort who had their Museum experience spoiled by re-living something that would have also happened in Nazi Germany.

  • deadhead Jan 5, 2009

    ratherbnnc thought "Well Justin! at least we got your money! THANKS!!"

    Guess again - free passes for the wife and me to see the "postage stamps". Justin T.

    ZING! lol

  • any1butcarolina0405 Jan 5, 2009

    law is the law, a t-shirt (the kind being worn) is a form of protest therefore the man was breaking the rules... this isn't a freedom of expression issue. had he been walking down the street that'd be a different story. he was in a public building... with rules.

  • Justin T. Jan 5, 2009

    ratherbnnc thought "Well Justin! at least we got your money! THANKS!!"

    Guess again - free passes for the wife and me to see the "postage stamps".

  • Alexia.1 Jan 5, 2009

    Unless the guy was bothering people beyond just having on a T-shirt with words some did not like (and apparently nothing vulgar), then I think the museum officals were just being petty. Do we not have the right to wear what we want? Since when do we need to have a permit to wear a T-shirt?

    I may not agree with his opinions, but I definitely support his right to express them.

  • braddyg Jan 5, 2009

    "I really don't "take" either side, but I know the murder of one innocent child is wrong. The murder of hundreds is pure evil."

    I can only assume you're referring to the cowardly indiscriminate rocket attacks from Palestinians into Israel. If so, you're right - it's pure evil. Thus the reason Israel has taken this necessary action.

  • exposure102 Jan 5, 2009

    "But Bush/Cheney are allowing the government and second most powerful military in the world carte blanche to bomb and murder civilians (mostly children)"

    Really? Have you been there to see it for yourself? Or are you just believing everything CNN pumps out?

  • seaturtlesrule Jan 5, 2009

    to nbforrest: People like you make Wilson look so ignorant...All Palestinians are not "terrorists"...many are doctors, lawyers, engineers...almost all are (obviously) better educated than you.

    Israelis are good people. But Bush/Cheney are allowing the government and second most powerful military in the world carte blanche to bomb and murder civilians (mostly children). They are already living in a concentration camp. Now the Israeli government/military is attempting genocide (once again) in the name of fighting "terrorism". It is hard to feel pity for their holocaust (70 years ago) when they are committing one now in 2009! Happy New Year! And don't think the timing (between US administrations) is by chance... It's kind of a slap in the face to Pres.-elect Obama.

    I really don't "take" either side, but I know the murder of one innocent child is wrong. The murder of hundreds is pure evil.

    Ehud Barak needs to look in the mirror...Adolf Hitler may be looking back.

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