John Paul II Cultural Center

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The cultural center that takes its name and inspiration from Pope John Paul II is located in Washington, DC. The center features state-of-the-art exhibits and interactive media activities designed to provide visitors an experience that inspires faith, promotes religious values, and fosters respect for diverse cultural backgrounds. The five main galleries explore (1) the history of the Church and the papacy; (2) how faith is celebrated around the world; (3) the relationship between the human and the physical world; (4) ways that God's presence is expressed in art; and (5) world cultures and their relationship to the Catholic Church.

Works by Christian artists from around the world and from the collection of the Vatican Museum are displayed. The permanent collection highlights Marian themes. Another component integral to the center is the Intercultural Forum. Scholars research and study themes related to the impact of the papacy on world cultures and the promotion of values relating to the dignity of the human person. Facilities include a library, auditorium, and conference rooms. The inspiration for the center is Pope John Paul's call for renewed evangelization in the new millennium.

The multimillion dollar project was initiated by Cardinal Adam Maida, archbishop of Detroit, and designed by Leo A. Daly, architect, engineer, and interior designer, and Edwin Schlossberg, Inc., exhibit designer. It opened during the Jubilee Year 2000 on a 14acre site adjacent to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and the Catholic University of America in northeast Washington, DC.

[g. m. bugarin]