Stunning military victories made Israel’s Gen. Moshe Dayan an iconic figure on the international stage, but his reputation for looting antiquities is little known outside the country where his myth was born.
Across three decades until his death in 1981, Dayan, of the trademark eye patch, established a vast collection of antiquities acquired through illicit excavations. He also traded in archaeological finds in Israel and abroad, antiquities experts say.
“Moshe Dayan didn’t deal in archaeology. He dealt in antiquities plundering,” said Uzi Dahari, deputy director of the Israel Antiquities Authority. “He was a criminal. He knew he was breaking the law.”