• Museum to open commemorating oldest tree in Jericho


    A museum is planned to open in Jericho featuring an ancient sycamore tree that some believe has Biblical relevance.

    The 60-foot high tree, located in the ancient city of Jericho in the West Bank, is thought by some to be the very tree that the tax collector climbed in order to see Jesus. Some tests that have been performed on the tree indicate it may be 2,000 years old.

    Visitors to Jericho, who have numbered approximately one million since violence in the area abated in 2006, already snap photographs of the tree due to the local lore that surrounds it.

    Palestinian tourism authorities hope that the museum, along with other planned attractions such as a Dead Sea resort and a local airport, will promote Palestine as a tourist destination.

    The museum is being built on land that had been purchased by the Russian government in the 19th century, and will feature an exhibit on Russian-Palestinian cultural ties, as well as a setting that reinforces the tree's Biblical mythology, including a garden full of plants mentioned in the Bible.

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