Biblical 'facts' thump into Washington

Central Station | Nov 17, 2017
Washington's new Museum of the Bible takes a leap of faith this weekend by opening its bronze gates to visitors keen to browse ancient relics and interactive exhibits as well as to people questioning its mission.

The US$500-million (HK$3.9 billion) museum tells the story of the Bible by blending archeology with history and a hint of whimsy, offering antiquities and curiosities and an amusement ride.

But the 40,000-square-meter museum has raised eyebrows for its location close to the US Capitol building and for its creator and major financial backer, billionaire evangelical Christian Steve Green, pictured.

Green's arts and crafts retail chain Hobby Lobby won a 2014 case in the Supreme Court whereby companies can opt out on religious grounds from providing contraceptive coverage under an Obama- era health-care law.

And just months ago the company came under fire for illegally importing more than 5,500 artefacts, including tablets smuggled out of Iraq. Hobby Lobby agreed to forfeit the pieces and pay a US$3-million settlement.

The Green record has the skeptics questioning the place of the museum. But Green claims the aim is to "present the facts it's not about espousing our faith."

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June 2019