After seven years of trial and testimony from dozens of experts, Israeli court clears 2 of faking Jesus-era box

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JERUSALEM (AP).- Is the purported burial box of Jesus’ brother James fake or authentic? Seven years of trial, testimony from dozens of experts and a 475-page verdict Wednesday failed to come up with an answer. A Jerusalem judge, citing reasonable doubt, acquitted Israeli collector Oded Golan, who was charged with forging the inscription on the box once hailed as the first physical link to Christ. Golan said the ruling put an end to what he portrayed as a 10-year smear campaign against him. Hershel Shanks, editor of the Washington-based Biblical Archaeology, said he was delighted, insisting the burial box, or ossuary, is authentic and a “prized artifact to the world of Christianity.” The Israel Antiquities Authority, which believes Golan’s most high-profile items are forged, said the case shows the limits of science in proving forgeries, but it also prompted museums and universities around the world to be more suspicious of finds of uncertain origin. In his ruling, Judge Aharon F