In Washington, in the new museum dedicated to the Bible, there is also a bit of Italy – World
An interior space of the Washington Bible Museum. Photo by Alan Karchmer for the Museum of the Bible. Courtesy of Museum of the Bible
In this impressive building, the contents, the role, the narrative, but also the impact that the Bible has had on a global level, and not only in America, unravel through the six Rooftop floors with breathtaking views, inaugurated on November 18 with a letter and best wishes from Pope Francis.
A debut, that of the museum with its permanent collection dedicated to the Holy Scriptures, that the Galleria Borghese of Rome – as the director Anna Coliva had announced during the presentation of the exhibition dedicated to Bernini – wanted to greet by lending 'opera The Concert by the artist of Utrecht Gerrit van Honthorst, also to thank the Bible Museum of the scientific collaboration offered for the restoration of the Santa Bibiana, at the center of the beautiful exhibition on Bernini, underway in Rome until to 4 February.
But there's more. Thanks to an agreement between the Museum of the Bible and the State Archives of Rome, the new institution of Washington will bring within its modern structure – as stated in a statement of the Museum – some treasures from the capital, among documents, paintings , archival prints, which will be the focus of three temporary exhibitions scheduled between 2018 and 2020.
The first, which will open in mid-2018, dedicated to works of charity in Rome between the thirteenth and nineteenth centuries , fruit of the principles of mercy contained in the Bible, anticipates the 2019 exhibition, which will focus on modern natural disasters read through the Bible. The 2020 event will focus on the tradition, typically Roman, of the pilgrimage to the seven basilicas, and will also explain how the architectural and artistic characteristics of these churches are consistent with the purpose of these religious buildings.
Meanwhile, in waiting for the next appointments, on the museum's website, www.museumofthebible.org, you can buy tickets to visit the museum's treasures also on December 24th and 26th.
In this new entry inside the artistic skyline of Washington, where the ancient, indeed the very ancient, coexists with the most modern technologies, the continuous references to metaphors and icons do not go unnoticed. Biblical. The strong presence of technology in this new structure, which takes the form now of an ark, now a rolled parchment, and "which is addressed to the peoples of every faith, but also to those who lack it", is already perceived at the entrance, where visitors are greeted with a virtual guide, which offers guests a personalized service, and the digital ceiling on which images of the museum's collection are projected, as well as clouds and stars.
The modern structure desired and financed by Steve Green, a giant of the trade of objects, which has invested 500 million dollars for the imposing building of about 40 thousand square meters, aimed at "making people dialogue with the Bible", has an eye for even the little ones. On the first floor, a room dedicated to children, with a treasure hunt, shows them the stories of the Bible that have protagonists courageous characters, inviting them to read, interact, learn. Thanks to the optical effects and high technology, the little visitors can "walk on water" and observe the marine life under their feet, listen to the story of Giuseppe, participate in a "miraculous" fishing or play "Davide e Golia" .
From the impact that the Bible has had on America and humanity, to the story of the history of the Holy Book, the building offers a journey through time and culture through eleven galleries, over 600 artifacts and many precious pieces – from the oldest surviving Jewish manuscript copied to England to the first Bible printed in America and to the rich collection of fragments of the Dead Sea scrolls. All you need is a handy tablet – which is included in the ticket – to allow each visitor to interact with the set-ups and make their own journey.
• Bernini, genius and director " all round "at the Galleria Borghese