June 2015

Terra Sancta Museum, ceremony of laying the foundation stone by the Custos of the Holy Land

Thursday 25 June took place the ceremony of laying the foundation stone for the creation of the Terra Sancta Museum, the world’s first museum dedicated to the roots of Christianity and the preservation of the Holy Places, a profound desire of the Franciscans of the Custody of the Holy Land.

Approximately one hundred people were present at the event which took place at the Lapidarium of the Convent of the Flagellation in Jerusalem, one of the future sites of the Museum and ‒ as pointed out by the current director of the archaeological museum of the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum, Father Eugenio Alliata ‒ a very important archaeological site in its own right that contains remains from the time of Jesus.

The moving ceremony was performed by Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Custos of the Holy Land and President of Association pro Terra Sancta. His signature, along with that of Father Sergio Galdi, was affixed to a symbolic purple parchment, which was then buried in the surface of the floor beneath the foundation stone of the nascent museum.

Speaking at the ceremony were Davide La Cecilia, Consul General of Italy, who informed those present of the generous contribution of the Consulate in support of the project; Javier Parrondo, Deputy Consul of Spain, who also confirmed the future support of Spain; Hervé Magro, Consul General of France; Mustafa Sarnıç, Ambassador of Turkey; Bruno Jans, Consul General of Belgium; and Dorothy Shea, Head of Mission of the U.S. Consulate.

The names of supporters who have already made commitments to the project have been inscribed on a number of slabs of local stone, presently located near the foundation stone and subsequently to be placed in a specific area of the newly-created museum. The fundraising campaign is continuing, directed by Association pro Terra Sancta which is also in charge of carrying out the museum project.

Father Pizzaballa stressed the importance of the project for a city like Jerusalem that has a ‘universal vocation’: here for centuries Muslims, Jews and Christians have lived and shared the same spaces and, at times, the same traditions.

The desire of the Franciscan friars is to preserve, with the aid of the Terra Sancta Museum, the Christian character of Jerusalem as one of the fundamental elements of the universal vocation of the Holy City. The museum will in fact not only be a place where hundreds of objects will displayed – many of which were gifts from the kingdoms of Europe or date back to the Byzantine, Mameluke and Ottoman periods, or from even earlier times; it will also be a dynamic cultural center that will make the public of all religions, as well as the secular public, aware of the links of the Holy City with the centuries-old Christian traditions, both local and international.

The Father Custos went on to say that Jerusalem has always been open to the world, but has also always contained the world within itself: “We are perfectly aware that we are not the only Christians in Jerusalem […]. We hope that in the future the other Churches will join this project, and that one day there will be a network of centers – and not only Christian ones – that will allow visitors, and above all the resident communities, to be inspired by the exceptional nature of Jerusalem”.

You can watch a short video of the ceremony: https://youtu.be/XkI2ISmzUFY

And watch the new video of the Terra Sancta Museum.

12
15
17
11
05
06 vista d'insime
10
19
16
18
6
09
14
07 benedizione I pietra
07
13
20
08
04
03
02
01 preparazione
00
share facebook twitter google pinterest print send
related stories

Terra Sancta Museum on the Via Dolorosa, because “no one knows about it” (February 2017)

About those Muslim schools visiting the museum on the Via Dolorosa (November 2016)

Terra Sancta Museum – Via Dolorosa: what do people say? (April 2016)

Discover the Via Dolorosa! (March 2016)

Terra Sancta Museum: Let the show begin! (March 2016)

Museum of the Shroud of Turin: a preview of the Terra Sancta Museum (April 2015)

Terra Sancta Museum, Jerusalem (August 2014)

Jacopo and the medals of the Piccirillo collection: the story of a volunteer archaeologist in Jerusalem (May 2014)

The Project of the Terra Sancta Museum presented to the consuls of Jerusalem (March 2014)

Archaeological Museum Bulletin: September and october’s news (November 2013)

The history of Jerusalem’s ancient Franciscan pharmacy (October 2013)

The Treasure of the Holy Sepulchre returns to Jerusalem after the Versailles exhibition (August 2013)

Telling the Story of the Holy Land (July 2013)

A video about the ancient bells of the Bethlehem Treasure (June 2013)

May’s news from the Archaeological Museum (June 2013)

“A dream that we Franciscans hope to make a reality”: the Terra Sancta Museum presented to the public in Milan (May 2013)

Knowing one’s own history in order to invest in the future: the video interview with Father Pizzaballa about the Terra Sancta Museum (May 2013)

Presentation of the Terra Sancta Museum project in Milan (May 2013)

April’s news form the Archaeological Museum (May 2013)

The Treasure of the Holy Sepulchre on display in Paris (April 2013)