The multimedia exhibition entitled “The experience of Resurrection” has at last been inaugurated at the Christian Information Center (CIC) in Jerusalem. After a six-year wait, on Saturday 2 July, the exhibition opened its doors to the public and, in particular, to the Custos of the Holy Land, Fr. Francesco Patton, who cut the inaugural ribbon and blessed the exhibition area.
In addition to the Father Custos and the head of the CIC, Fr. Tomasz Dubiel, ofm, a groupof friars, religious. Journalists and curious pilgrims were also present.
The process that led to the final conclusion of the works had encountered several hurdles over the past few years. In 2018 the project was proceeding on time, and the first two rooms were inaugurated and there was great optimism on the conclusion, according to schedule, of the rest of the museum space. From 2020, due to the pandemic first and then the absence of pilgrims, the schedule of works was slowed down until they stopped altogether.
Both the Father Custos and the head of the venue, Fr. Tomasz Dubiel, spoke of these criticalities. The latter said, “In these difficult years, by overcoming my capacities I discovered my limits and by overcoming my limits, I discovered my capacities.”And thanking all those who with their generosity have believed in and contributed to the completion of the exhibition, he added, “I do not want to celebrate the success of this work now; to do so I would like to wait for the arrival of the pilgrims and, in any case, this success will not be mine, but of the Custody of the Holy Land and of those who visit this place. In this regard, I feel that I must insist on a message that we are trying to deliver with the technology that we have applied. Every day, hundreds of people visit the empty tomb. From the Gospels, we know that, first the women and then the disciples, visited the empty tomb of Christ and, seeing, they believed. This scene totally changed their lives, so much so that they set off for every part of the world to announce that Jesus had risen. Do all these pilgrims, today, believe like the women and the disciples? Do their lives change? The guided tour here at the CIC has been created to answer this question, for each pilgrim.”
Fr. Patton also insisted on the need to entertain the pilgrims, keeping very clearly in mind the purpose of this mission. Shortly before cutting the ribbon, he said, “All our initiatives, from the Museum of the Flagellation to Dar Al-Majus in Bethlehem, to this exhibition at the CIC, are occasions to evangelize. The aim of all our presence and of what we do is to offer a stimulus to question ourselves on who Jesus is, to welcome him as the Messiah, as the son of God and as our Saviour. The empty tomb is the pivot of our faith and our hope.“
The exhibition, which is already open to the public, offers a multimedia exhibition on the Holy Sepulchre and allows not only understanding but also”taking part” in the encounter with the Risen in the Holy City.
The exhibition consists of six rooms in which the visitor can have a unique audio-visual experience, taking advantage of the best digital reality technologies ad immersing themselves in a space specifically designed to enhance contact with the surrounding environment. IN each room the story of Jerusalem and of the Holy Sepulchre over the centuries is told, giving visitors the sensation that they are living in that same place at different periods.
Filippo De Grazia