Israeli archaeological exhibit to open in Museum of the Bible

Ben Sales

(JTA) — The Museum of the Bible, set to open in 2017, will house a large collection from the Israel Antiquities Authority, which oversees archaeological digs in Israel.

The Authority will have a 4,000 square-foot exibit space in the Washington, D.C. museum, where it will show pieces from its collection of two million artifacts. The exhibit will be part of a space of 20,000 square feet dedicated to visiting collections.

“The Israel Antiquities Authority is thrilled and proud to partner with the Museum of the Bible on this landmark project,” said Israel Hasson, director of the Israel Antiquities Authority, in a press release announcing the exhibition Tuesday. “Making the archaeological heritage of the Land of Israel and the vital archaeological work conducted by the IAA available and accessible to people around the world is our mission.”

In tandem, the Museum of the Bible is supervising an archaeological dig at Tel Shimron, a large excavation site in northern Israel.

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The Museum of the Bible’s collection will comprise 40,000 objects, including cuneiform tablets, Torah scrolls and rare printed Bibles. The museum’s chairman of the board is Steve Green, the president of Hobby Lobby, a craft store chain that won the right in court last year to not provide contraception as part of employees’ health care plans, due to religious objections.

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