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Palestinians get glimpse of world’s largest mosaic in Jericho

A Japanese-funded project to protect and exhibit the largest mosaic floor in the Middle East, an ancient creation dating back to the Umayyad period, promises to protect this treasure of Palestinian heritage and attract thousands more visitors to Jericho.
A Palestinian man removes weeds from the Hisham's Palace archaeological site, located five kilometres north of the West Bank city of Jericho, on October 20, 2016, after the mosaic in the palace was uncovered and readied for display. / AFP / ABBAS MOMANI        (Photo credit should read ABBAS MOMANI/AFP/Getty Images)
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RAMALLAH, West Bank — In Jericho, one of the oldest cities in the world, the Palestinian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities has unveiled the largest floor mosaic in the Middle East for public display. The Oct. 20 ceremonial opening in Hisham Palace was attended by numerous official figures and public personalities, including Tourism Minister Rula Maaya, Secretary of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Executive Committee Saeb Erekat, Japanese Ambassador to the Palestinian Authority Takechi Okubo and chief representative from the Japan International Cooperation Agency Yuko Mitsui.

The mosaic, dating back to the Umayyad era, covers the floor of the reception hall between the office of the caliph, which was used to host high-level visitors, and the large bathroom in the Umayyad Hisham Palace, built in 724.

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