Bible museum closes $50 million deal for D.C. spot

c. 2012 Religion News Service WASHINGTON(RNS) Planners of a Bible museum in Washington closed a $50 million deal Thursday (July 26) on a building two blocks from the National Mall.

The Museum of the Bible, a nonprofit group planning the, as yet, unnamed museum, announced it will be housed at 300 D Street, SW, in what is now the Washington Design Center, a series of showrooms of luxury home furnishings.

"Our intent is for this museum to showcase both the Old and New Testaments, arguably the world's most significant pieces of literature, through a non-sectarian, scholarly approach that makes the history, scholarship and impact of the Bible on virtually every facet of society accessible to everyone," said Mark DeMoss, a member of the Bible museum's board.

The museum, which will likely open in 2016, will highlight the collection of the billionaire Green family of Oklahoma. That collection features more than 55,000 items including biblical artifacts ranging from Dead Sea Scrolls to Torah scrolls that survived the Holocaust. Museum officials expect to also showcase other prominent collections from across the globe.

Planners considered Dallas and New York in addition to Washington for the museum site, but research showed people were more interested in traveling to a Bible-focused museum in the nation's capital.

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