Barack Obama pays visit to Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit
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Barack Obama pays visit to Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit

US leader takes break from fundraising in Philadelphia to view ancient texts

President Barack Obama at the Franklin Institute's Dead Sea Scroll exhibit. (photo credit: Sabina Louise Pierce)
President Barack Obama at the Franklin Institute's Dead Sea Scroll exhibit. (photo credit: Sabina Louise Pierce)

Shimon Peres wasn’t the oldest figure to get some attention from US President Barack Obama this week.

A day before presenting the Presidential Medal of Freedom to the 88-year-old Israeli president, the American leader checked out the Dead Sea Scrolls Tuesday during a fundraising trip to Philadelphia. Between events at the city’s Franklin Institute, Obama visited “Dead Sea Scrolls: Life and Faith in Ancient Times,” an exhibit running through October. The show features artifacts including the oldest known copies of the Hebrew bible, and was put together with the help of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

Obama was back at the White House the next day, praising the 88-year-old Peres in a ceremony attended by guests including Bill Clinton and Henry Kissinger. “No individual has done so much over so many years to build our alliance and bring our two nations closer as the leader we honor tonight, our friend, Shimon Peres,” Obama said.

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