News of the Holy Land Museum in Italian newspapers

Giacomo Pizzi25 March 2013

“An ambitious project, that of ‘telling the story of Christianity from its origins’. Works have already begun some time ago and it will be ready in 2015. With the opening to the public of a modern museum complex – the only one so far in all the Land of God – the Franciscans of the Custody are seeking to enhance the artistic, archaeological and cultural heritage preserved during their eight centuries in these lands.” This is what one can read today (21 March) in Avvenire. A large space is devoted to the future opening of the Terra Sancta Museum in Jerusalem.

“This involves an enormous heritage”, the article in Avvenire continues, “ancient discoveries confined for years to the storerooms of the Custody in Jerusalem. There is a risk of becoming lost while counting the nearly 80,000 coins, 2,000 oil lamps and 12,000 other objects of various types, gifts made by the Christian kings from all over the world during the past centuries to the Franciscan fathers as a sign of gratitude. ‘All of these items will be presented to the public not only to exalt their material value’, explains Father Eugenio Alliata [Director of the Archaeological Museum of the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum and of the Scientific Commission advising the new Terra Sancta Museum], ‘but as evidence of the support of the whole world for the Holy Places and the land which saw the birth of Christianity’” (Andrea Avveduto, Avvenire, 21 March).

Also published today on the home page of the Avvenire website is the video “Recounting the origins: the Terra Sancta Museum”, produced by the Franciscan Media Center to present the project.

On Sunday 11 March the Corriere della Sera also devoted an entire page in its literary insert “La Lettura” to the future Terra Sancta Museum, focusing as well on the exhibition to be held in Paris beginning 16 April featuring a number of pieces coming from the Custody of the Holy Land that will be housed in the new Museum in Jerusalem:

“After four years of negotiations and intense preparations, Paris will be the site of a comprehensive preview with its exhibition The Treasure of the Holy Sepulchre” opening on 16 April (until 14 July) at the Château de Versailles and at the Maison de Chateaubriand, where impressive pieces of goldsmith’s art and religious vestments (the ensemble of copes and chasubles making up the wardrobe of celebrants at pontifical masses) never before displayed will be on exhibit, as well as sacred furnishings used today at the the Church of the Holy Sepulchre as they were four or five centuries ago. Two hundred pieces, all coming from the Custody of the Holy Land with the exception of a few contributed by the Louvre and Vatican Museums.” (Elisabetta Rosaspina, La Lettura, Corriere della Sera).

The two articles can be read in their entirety (in Italian) in the attachment.