The Museum for Islamic Art in Jerusalem recently re-opened an exhibit displaying more than 100 priceless and rare timepieces. The story behind the exhibit is as fascinating as the timepieces themselves. The pieces were collected by Sir David Lionel Salomons, the first Jewish mayor of London, and were donated to the museum by his daughter, Vera Bryce Salomons, in 1974. The timepiece exhibit was open to the public until 1983, when more than 100 of the 200 items were stolen in a brazen Friday night burglary. Years passed with no leads. Suddenly, in 2006, a Tel Aviv lawyer contacted museum personnel to inform them that Na'aman Lidor, a famous Israeli thief, confessed shortly before his death to taking the items. Almost all the items have been recovered and are now on display.
The exhibit includes magnificent watches, clocks, music boxes and jewelery. The entire collection on display is contained in one room so one need only spend an hour or two. My only complaint - the audio was only in Hebrew. My Hebrew is passable but when the discussion concerned the mechanics of watches and clocks, it was difficult to follow. I was told that there will be an audio available in English so call to confirm before going.
Museum for Islamic Art - 2 Hapalmach Street, Jerusalem - 02-566-1291