Tourists visiting our nation's capital will have to squeeze in some time for one more attraction, now that the Museum of the Bible has opened its doors.
The enormous 430,000 square foot museum is only a few blocks from the U.S. Capitol Building, and just north of the National Mall, where the Smithsonian museum is located. The building is the pet project of billionaire Hobby Lobby executive Steve Green, who has spent $500 million of his own money to build the museum.
The museum advertises itself as nonsectarian, and welcoming to all faiths, as well as family-friendly. Admission is free, but donations are requested. Visitors will have to plan their time carefully to see all eight floors of the museum, which includes a restaurant, a ballroom, and a massive theater with a wraparound screen.
Green says that his museum, the world's largest devoted just to the Bible, takes "a journalistic view" of the holy book. "It's not about espousing our faith," he says, "we're inviting people to engage with this book, so we embrace all that will come and celebrate the Bible."
At the building's entrance there are a pair of 40-foot tall replicas of the Book of Genesis, and the exhibits inside are just as impressive. Ahead of the museum's opening this week, its giving the public a sneak peek of what they can expect to see during their visit.