Yay? Road trip, anyone?
Gee, I have so much holiday time left but zero ambition to visit that.
It’s eight floors of Bible goodness, right there in D.C. But, as I’ve learned, there’s some concern over how the museum acquired some (or all?) of their artifacts. It’s been assembled by those Hobby Lobby people, Steve and Jackie Green. I remember seeing news about Hobby Lobby and their forays into archaeology. They had to pay $3 million in federal fines on account of their smuggling of thousands of artifacts out of Iraq and Syria.
I guess they managed to get enough stuff legally to fill their museum, though. Via Stream.org:
A team of scholars documents the background of artifacts, openly addressing any questions. Prof. Gordon Campbell, a resident historian at the museum affiliated with the University of Leicester in England, explains in an interview.
“We observe standards that are wholly consistent with the Association of American Museums and the usual professional bodies,” says Campbell. “As with all amateur collections that have become professional, we’re still dealing with what happened at the beginning when someone didn’t know the right questions to ask. Honesty and transparency are the watchwords when it comes to all of this.”
Indeed, a team of museum scholars recently found that some of their collection’s Dead Sea Scrolls fragments might not be authentic. They publicly released their findings and have updated museum signage for the artifacts affected.
In terms of overall criticism over the making of this place,
The museum president claims such critics don’t understand their mission. “The question that’s being asked without it being said is, Why isn’t there proselytizing? Why aren’t there tracts to get to salvation? But we have no agenda other than to help our visitors appreciate the role that this unique book has played in history,” he says.
I will choose to believe that. I think this museum should be in Nazareth or one of those other places instead, then, as those are places with direct history tied to the books of the Bible, whereas you lot are Americans who’ve merely read it. I could make a museum of hentai tentacle porn in my basement without ever visiting Japan.. but I think I’d be missing something integral in the experience were I to do that…
I think Hobby Lobby should have stuck to dorky crafts and fabrics instead of promoting biblical history, but that’s just me…they don’t get any of my money no matter what they’re doing.