Pope John Paul II museum close to completion
PR dla Zagranicy
A museum devoted to Pope John Paul II will reopen on 9 April in the late pontiff's hometown of Wadowice, southern Poland, just weeks before his canonisation.
Museum building, Wadowice. Photo: wikipedia
“This will be the first multimedia exhibition of its kind to narrate his story,” said Father Dariusz Ras, director of the museum.
“On the one hand, we are making use of very modern technology, while on the other, we are keeping original exhibits, namely items that were used by John Paul II.”
The Museum of the Family Home of John Paul II is located in a townhouse in which the pontiff's family lived prior to World War II.
A thorough overhaul of the property was launched in September 2010, with the project backed by the Ministry of Culture, local authorities and the archdiocese of Krakow (Karol Wojtyla served as archbishop of Krakow prior his election to the papacy.)
Some 10.5 million zloty (2.5 million euro) of EU money was also granted for the project, with total costs reaching about 25 million zloty (5.9 million euro).
Father Ras has revealed that a special mass will be held prior to the official reopening of the museum on 9 April, involving state and church dignitaries.
The late pontiff will be canonised in the Vatican on 27 April, marking the final stage in his path to sainthood.
Pope John Paul II is considered by historians as a key figure in the eventual collapse of communism in Poland. His first visit to Poland following his 1978 election rallied millions of Poles, paving the way for the Solidarity movement.
“It was one great surge of enthusiasm. People felt together, they felt free. There was no militia. It was a completely different world that appeared,” Solidarity member Irena Urbanska told Polish Radio during the beatification of Pope John Paul II in April 2011.
The pope's subsequent support for Solidarity members, including leader Lech Walesa, widened coverage of the movement across the globe.
Pope John Paul II died on 2 April 2005 after 26 years in office. (nh)