Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem opens PURE GOLD exhibition

In honor of the Bible Lands Museum’s 20th anniversary, the Museum is opening an international exhibition entitled “PURE GOLD” and a new urban art display called the “Golden Mile”, made up of works by students of the Jewelry and Fashion Department at Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design.

Jerusalem of Gold comes to life this summer with two innovative and unusual “gold” exhibitions opening in June, a fitting tribute to the City of Gold. Opening on Thursday, June 7, 2012, a spectacular international exhibition, “PURE GOLD”, will open at the Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem, parallel to the “Golden Mile” project in the heart of the city. The “Golden Mile” exhibit, which was inspired by the “PURE GOLD” exhibit, will showcase the work of first-year students from the Department of Jewelry and Fashion at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design Jerusalem.

Examining ancient Etruscan jewlery in the PURE GOLD exhibition

In the 20 years since its founding, the Bible Lands Museum has served as a bridge between the past and present, a home to exquisite ancient treasures, an inspiration for contemporary creativity and a center for broad cultural activities. “In celebrating our 20th anniversary, the Bible Lands Museum is proud to bring the exquisite art of the ancient world into the contemporary focus of the artists of tomorrow,” says Amanda Weiss, Museum director. “This new exhibition and its concurrent cooperative exhibit with the Bezalel Academy reflect the innovative nature of the BLMJ and its many exciting cultural and educational activities.”

“By initiating this project, the Museum has provided a unique opportunity for close to 40 students who were privileged to personally experience the artifacts before they were installed in the exhibition. It is a tremendous privilege to continue in the footsteps of the Museum founders by taking their vision and building on it exponentially as we reach out to ever greater audiences. In the words of Dr. Elie Borowski (1913-2003), ‘The future of mankind has its roots in the past – and only through understanding our history can we build a better future’,” says Weiss.

“PURE GOLD” reveals the secrets of this most magical of metals that have captivated humanity throughout history. The exhibition displays more than 400 rare and exquisite gold treasures, many of which have never been exhibited before, that shed light on the lifestyles of ancient aristocrats. Among the artifacts: a fantastic collection of Etruscan fibulae, breathtaking Greek and Roman jewelry, belt-buckles worn by soldiers in ancient China and many other artifacts from Mesopotamia, Egypt, Persia and the Black Sea. The exhibition was researched and the full color catalog authored by guest scholar, Prof. John Boardman of Oxford University, England, one of the world’s foremost experts on classical art.

The “Golden Mile” street exhibit was inspired by the “PURE GOLD” exhibition and undertaken as a tribute to the Bible Lands Museum and the city of Jerusalem. The first-year students of Bezalel Academy’s Jewelry and Fashion Department were directly exposed to the works that would be displayed in the exhibition at the start of the project. As part of their foundation year (the first of a four-year degree program), they researched and investigated gold as both a material and as a concept, its history, the values it represents, its economic value, modes of production, and more. Inspired by the preliminary research and study, the students were invited to create a tribute to Jerusalem – the City of Gold – to its people, both real and fictional, its sites, special structures, its history, and to the ideas and conflicts that the city reflects.

The students’ works of art will be on display in an outdoor exhibition, installed in specially-designed display cases, in the city center – in a location that will be finalized in the coming days, by the municipality and representatives of the museum and Bezalel. The works on display as part of the “Golden Mile” will illustrate the story of the city – both in material and in spirit – and will connect the past and the present, the ancient and the modern.

The “Golden Mile” project is an initiative of the Bible Lands Museum in collaboration with Jerusalem Municipality’s Department of Culture, Society and Leisure and the Department of Jewelry and Fashion at Bezalel.

About the Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem

The Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem is the only museum in the world dedicated to the history of the Ancient Near East from a biblical perspective. The core exhibition displays an extraordinary collection of ancient art and archaeology tracing the roots of monotheism from the dawn of civilization to early Christianity.
For more than 50 years, Dr. Elie Borowski, Museum co-founder, assembled a priceless collection of artifacts, which provide the core exhibition of the Museum. His dream was to create a universal institution where people of all faiths would come to learn about biblical history, the moral and ethical principles that are the foundation of the Judeo-Christian heritage.
BLMJ was opened to the public on May 11, 1992 and has since earned international acclaim as a universal center for cultural and educational programming. It leads innovative tours for school children, presents weekly lectures, and offers a variety of courses for adults. The Museum is a vibrant cultural institution offering creative programs for families and a rich array of activities throughout the year.

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