It looks like this exhibit will be much more open than the previous ones.
The museum’s press release explains that there are “two basic theories” about the scrolls, one that they were written by a sect at Qumran, and the other that they are the writings of many Jewish groups and have nothing to do with Qumran which was not a sectarian site.
This sounds accurate — nothing like what we’ve been hearing from other museums and in “international conferences.” See
The question remains, however, who will be invited to lecture at the museum. Will they have a balanced series featuring proponents of both “basic theories,” or will they follow the same pattern of “sectarian” selection and exclusion that we’ve been seeing elsewhere?
Unfortunately, the question I put in the final sentence of my comment above has received an (at least initially) unpleasant response, in the form of an announcement by the museum of a lecture that will accompany the exhibit.
The lecturer turns out to be Eileen Schuller, a member of the Dead Sea Scrolls monopoly group and one of the most dogmatic defenders of the Qumran-sectarian theory around.
The museum has yet to announce any other lectures, which can signal either good news or bad news. Hopefully their series will also include proponents of the other “basic theory” they discuss in their press release — i.e., the theory that no sect ever lived at Qumran and that the scrolls are the remains of literary collections from the Jerusalem area.