Washington's new $500m Museum of the Bible claims 'non-sectarian' mission

The Art Newspaper, November 17, 2017

"The Museum of the Bible is opening today (17 November) in a vast former warehouse near the National Mall in the US capital. Atop the brick hulk is a long glass structure resembling a Torah scroll, while the text of Genesis 1:1-31—the creation story—in Latin is carved on 40ft-high bronze gates framing the entrance. Spanning 430,000 sq. ft over eight floors, the building is only slightly smaller than the Vatican Museums.

The $500m, privately funded museum is on a mission to tell the history of the Bible, with no government funding and no entry charge. (Timed-entry tickets are required and donations of $15 are suggested.) Its billionaire benefactor and chairman is Steve Green, the conservative evangelical founder of the craft supplies chain Hobby Lobby. He has acquired an estimated 40,000 biblical artefacts over the past decade, including thousands illegally obtained from the Middle East. 

Green is also a potent political force. In 2014, Hobby Lobby won a pivotal Supreme Court victory that exempted the firm on religious grounds from paying the contraception costs of its employees under the Affordable Care Act."

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