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Carved Gemstone Exhibition Opens at Israel Diamond Museum


Ramat Gan, Israel, The exhibition of jewelry, cameos and artifacts carved from gemstones, “And thou shalt breathe life into a gem”, opened yesterday at the Harry Oppenheimer Diamond Museum. The exhibition comprises works by master carvers in Idar-Oberstein, Germany and is the result of cooperation with the Deutsche Edelsteinmuseum there. The opening ceremony was attended by Israeli Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, German Embassy Charg? d’Affaires Peter Prugel, Chairman of the Idar-Oberstein museum and Treasurer-General of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses Mr. Dieter Hahn, leaders of the Israeli Diamond Industry and guests from Germany and Israel.

Shmuel Schnitzer, Chairman of the Harry Oppenheimer Diamond Museum, opened the ceremony and thanked German Ambassador to Israel Dr. Dr.h.c. Harald Kindermann for sponsoring the exhibition. He said, “In this exhibition we are cooperating with the gem and diamond merchant community of Idar-Oberstein, which is another avenue of Israel’s special and warm relationship with Germany.”

Minister Ben-Eliezer said that he found the exhibition amazing and impressive. “It reflects the fruitful cooperation between the peoples of Israel and Germany. I thank the embassy of Germany for enabling this exhibition to be realized.”

Mr. Dieter Hahn said that this is the first time that this exhibition is being shown outside of Germany. “We are honored that this is taking place in Israel,” he said. Hahn also spoke about the uniqueness of Idar-Oberstein, the only place in the world where the entire range of gemstones are cut and all of the professions of the industry are represented. He also said that his grandfather began the diamond cutting industry there in 1886 by hiring Jewish master diamond cutters from Amsterdam.

Mr. Prugel said that he was speaking for Ambassador Kindermann in expressing his indebtedness to the Harry Oppenheimer Diamond Museum for bringing and displaying this exhibition. “The close connections between the diamond industries in Germany and Israel are an integral part of the special relationship between the two countries,” he said. “Relations have never been better.”

The exhibition features jewelry and artifacts reflecting traditions going back hundreds of years, passed down from father to son. It encompasses a vast range of sculptures, objets d’art, cameos, jewelry and utensils, comprising about 150 items valued at approximately one million dollars. It includes cameos, animals, human figures, flowers, fruits and sweets -- all carved from gems, yet remarkably lifelike. Gemstones used include agate, carnelian, tourmaline, amethyst, quartz, rose quartz, chalcedony, onyx, ruby emeralds and sapphires.

The exhibition was initiated and realized by Yehuda Kassif, artistic director and curator of the Ramat Gan diamond museum. It will be open until the end of December 2010.


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