Washington, D.C. is home to many museums and historical monuments, but none is as monumental as Hobby Lobby president Steve Green‘s Museum of the Bible, which is solely dedicated to featuring the Word of God. Construction of the eight-story building that will encompass 430,000 square-foot has begun earlier this week.
According to World News Group, construction on the Museum of the Bible, the first of its kind anywhere in the world, started as demolition began on the site, located near Capitol Hill. Green, who came up with this idea, has over 44,000 pieces he wants to place inside it.
“It’s an exciting day for us,” Green said. “It’s been a dream, and it’s becoming reality.”
The project would cost $400 million, according to the creator’s website, and is scheduled for completion in 2017. When completed, it will feature the Green Collection, which Derrick described as “one of the world’s largest private compilations of biblical texts and artifacts”; the collection had rare items, including Dead Sea Scrolls fragments and the earliest known Jewish prayer book.
“Organizers unveiled floor designs and electronic renderings of the building, which will include five permanent floor exhibits focused on the impact, narrative, and history of the Bible, long-term international libraries, and long-term international museum galleries,” Derrick wrote.
Jonathan O’Connell of the Washington Post asked Green on what the museum’s mission would be once it is completed.
“We would like to invite all people to come and learn about the book that has impacted all of our world. So our desire is to engage all people,” Green said. “It’s a book that’s had a huge impact. It’s been controversial. It’s been loved. It’s been hated. We just think people ought to know about it.”
O’Connell then asked him if the museum was intended to bring other people to Christianity.
“We would hope people would consider what the book has to say and that’s a choice that they make,” Green said. “If it’s compelling, that’s a choice that they can make on their own. But we believe that it’s something that everybody ought to consider.”
However, Derrick reported that Green personally believed that the Bible was inspired by God.
“Our family has had a love for the Bible that has been passed down for generations,” he said. “We would like to invite all people to come and learn about the book that’s impacted our world.”
Museum of the Bible would be located a few blocks from the Capitol and the National Mall. The builders, Clark Construction and Smith Group JJR, will transform the area, which once housed a historic refrigeration warehouse and interior design showcase according to Derrick.
“They gave us no rules except for one, and that was to create the best museum in the world,” Brian Flegel, the museum’s project director and senior vice president of Clark Construction, said.
Museum of the Bible President Cary Summer said, “We’ve partnered with the best construction and design teams in the world to make Museum of the Bible an engaging, inviting, and innovative place that people all over the world will want to visit.”
According to Derrick, the museum will have a small admission fee, but no exact amount has been determined yet.
For more information on the planned features of the museum, visit the Museum of the Bible’s website.