US Bible Museum Partners with Israeli Archaeologists
JERUSALEM, Israel It's hard to tell who's more excited about the new joint venture between the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C., and the Israel Antiquities Authority.
When it opens in the fall of 2017 near Washington's National Mall, the eight-story museum will dedicate its top floor gallery to display biblical artifacts chosen from approximately 2 million antiquities from Israel's National Treasures.
Both a permanent exhibit and special rotating exhibits are being planned.
With 39 active archaeological excavations in Israel today, it's possible that some of the artifacts to be featured in the museum's top floor gallery have yet to be discovered.
The Museum of the Bible, which also takes part in Israeli excavations, is about to begin a dig at Tel-Shimron, one of the Jewish state's largest and most biblically significant sites.
IAA Director Israel Hasson said part of the museum's "mission" is to make Israel's archaeological heritage accessible to people around the world.
"The Israel Antiquities Authority is thrilled and proud to partner with the Museum of the Bible on this landmark project," IAA Director Israel Hasson said.
The "rare opportunity" to display Israeli antiquities that "illuminate the Bible" will provide visitors with a firsthand look at the "rich and diverse history and archaeology of the Holy Land," Hasson said.
Meanwhile, Museum of the Bible President Cary L. Summers appeared equally excited with the newly formed alliance.
"The Israel Antiquities Authority's unparalled two million artifacts, along with the 40,000 objects in Museum of the Bible's Green Collection, will combine for a new standard of museum experience unlike any ever seen before," Summers predicted.
The Green Collection's 40,000 objects from its founder, Hobby Lobby President Steve Green, includes some very rare and significant biblical texts and artifacts such as cuneiform tablets dating to the time of Abraham, biblical papyri and manuscripts, Torah scrolls, and rare printed Bibles.