NY, Israel museums jointly acquire ancient Torah

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NEW YORK (AP) — The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and The Israel Museum have jointly purchased a 15th century Torah.

Sotheby's announced Monday that the two institutions have acquired the Mishneh (MIHSH'-nah) Torah from the Michael and Judy Steinhardt Judaica Collection. It was about to be put up for auction in New York City.

It's the second of a two-volume illuminated manuscript. The first is housed in the Vatican.

The Torah had a pre-auction estimate of $4.5 million to $6 million.

Sotheby's declined to say how much the two museums paid. But it was more than the $2.9 million paid for a Hebrew Bible in 1989 at Sotheby's, which set an auction record for Judaica.

The remainder of the Steinhardt collection is being held as scheduled on Monday.

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