Hulton Getty Picture Collection Ltd.

One of the judges. Assigned by the British Museum to evaluate the strips’ authenticity, Christian David Ginsburg spent a month publishing translations of the texts in literary journals before labeling them forgeries. Two days before Ginsburg declared them inauthentic, however, the French scholar Charles Clermont-Ganneau published a notice that he had examined the strips on display at the museum and found them fake.

Ginsburg’s delay may have been a studied attempt to muster public interest in the strips and to establish himself as defender of the British people against forgery.