Telling the Story of the Holy Land: a project to promote the Christian heritage of the Holy Land

Giacomo Pizzi2 September 2011

For centuries the Franciscans of the Custody of the Holy Land have been responsible for protecting the Christian heritage in the Holy Land. “Telling the Story of the Holy Land” is a project that arose from an initiative of the Custody of the Holy Land and ATS pro Terra Sancta, with the aim of promoting a better knowledge of the history of Christianity and of the Franciscan presence in this land.

“Taking care of the Holy Places is not only a question of archaeology. Living in the Holy Land since Franciscan times, and caring for the memory of the Holy Places, obliges us above all to care for the testimony and the experience to which the Holy Places make reference”, explains the Custos of the Holy Land, Fr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa.

The project is one of a series of initiatives promoted by the Custody of the Holy Land that seek to preserve the “stones of memory” and, at the same time, to support the “living stones” of the Holy Land. It is a multi-year project whose ultimate goal is to create a modern Christian museum center in Jerusalem, for pilgrims, tourists, scholars and the local population. The creation of such a museum center, envisioned as an integrated complex of communications and cultural production, will help to make better known to all the precious heritage of Christianity in the Holy Land, and to transmit the history of the Franciscan presence in these lands.

Thanks to a contribution from the Lombardy Region and the aid of numerous small donors, a systematic inventory and computerization of the archaeological, archival and documentary heritage of the Custody is already underway, made possible by the work of numerous archaeologists and volunteers.


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