Spoils of War

From the exhibition “The Crystal Palace and the Temple of Doom”
Curator: Hila Cohen-Schneiderman 
Petach Tikva Museum

Holes in the wall, mirror 300*270 cm, wall-paper 800*270 cm, wooden table, shell, museum label, reading lamp and booklets

Something happened to the wall on the far left-hand side of the main hall. The eye that peeps through the holes in the wall comes across fragments of a black-and-white photograph. On its other side stands a full scale diorama of an exhibition of captured enemy weapons, “spoils of war”, held in 1957 in this very museum. It turns out that these weapons were stored in the museum’s storeroom mixed with the art collection, coexisting with artworks until the early 2000s. Only a few of them have a full record of how they entered the museum, and how they left it.
The photograph, which was found in the city’s archive, reveals a cramped space where dozens of weapons are exhibited alongside a sign which reads “spoils of war”. Comparison with other photographs allows us to identify the space as “Yad Lebanim Museum” which over time evolved into the Petach Tikva Museum of Art. However, the digital manipulation which BarOr performed on the archival image, had emptied it of the content of the display. There is no honor among thieves.