Bible Museum to display artifacts from Holy Land under deal

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Museum of the Bible being built in Washington will feature ancient artifacts and treasures from the Holy Land under a new deal that ensures Israel’s leading archaeological organization will have an outpost in the U.S. capital.

An agreement announced Tuesday between the museum and the Israel Antiquities Authority will bring a selection of artifacts excavated in Israel for long-term display in a top-floor gallery at the new Bible museum. The $400 million, eight-story museum is set to open near the National Mall in 2017.

The museum’s founder, Hobby Lobby President Steve Green, already has collected about 40,000 objects, including rare biblical texts and artifacts, such as cuneiform tablets dating to the time of Abraham, Torah scrolls and rare printed Bibles.

Green is known for funding conservative and evangelical causes, but organizers say the museum will present different religious viewpoints that visitors can choose from.