Elie Borowski, whose vast collection of Middle Eastern artifacts formed the bulk of Jerusalem's Bible Lands Museum, has died. He was 89.
Borowski died Tuesday at his home in Jerusalem, the museum said.
A longtime collector, Borowski founded the museum in 1992. It sits on the same grounds as the Israel Museum, which contains such treasures as the Dead Sea Scrolls.
The Bible Lands Museum has artifacts tracing the development of religious beliefs in the region from the beginnings of civilization through the Christian era.
Born in Warsaw in 1913, Borowski was educated in Poland's leading Jewish seminaries.
He enlisted in the French army's Polish division in 1939 just before the outbreak of World War II.
After the war, Borowski studied at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome, the Sorbonne in France, and elsewhere in Europe.
He became an expert on ancient art, with an emphasis on the biblical period, and moved to Basel, Switzerland, where he became an antiquities dealer.
Teddy Kolleck, Jerusalem's former mayor, encouraged Borowski to move his vast collection from Switzerland to Jerusalem to establish the museum.
Borowski's survivors include his wife, Batya.