NEW YORK - The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and The Israel Museum have jointly purchased a 15th century illuminated Hebrew manuscript

Sotheby's announced Mon-day the two institutions have acquired The Mishneh Torah from the Michael and Judy Steinhardt Judaica Collection. It was about to be put up for auction in New York City.

It's the second of a two-volume manuscript. The first is housed in the Vatican.

The Mishneh Torah had a pre-auction estimate of $4.5 million to $6 million.

Sotheby's declined to say how much the two museums paid. But it was more than the $2.9 million paid for a Hebrew Bible in 1989 at Sotheby's, which set an auction record for Judaica.

The remainder of the Steinhardt collection is being held as scheduled on Monday.

Associated Press