US President George Bush and First Lady, Laura Bush, concluded their 48 hour historic visit to Israel with a special guided tour of Jerusalem's Bible Lands Museum. "I'd love to come back here as a tourist", President Bush announced at the end of the tour.
The President, First Lady, and Secretary of State, Dr. Condoleeza Rice met with 12 students representing each of the three monotheistic faiths, for a round table discussion in the biblical garden of the Museum following the tour.
The President and First Lady were extremely impressed by the Museum's exhibitions
"I'd love to come back here as a tourist" President George W. Bush announced at the end of his tour through the Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem. President and Mrs. Bush came through the museum for the final stop in their visit celebrating Israel's 60th birthday. Under the olive trees of the museum's biblical gardens, they met with 12 students representing each of the three monotheistic faiths for a round table discussion following the tour.
Managing Director of the Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem, Amanda Weiss, guided President and Mrs. Bush through the highlights of the Museum's permanent exhibition, making stops in the Gallery of Written Communication which chronicles the development of writing from its earliest origins through the alphabet. President and Mrs. Bush were fascinated to see the artifacts on display from the time period of Abraham, and enjoyed the Early Christian galleries. There they stopped to see the sarcophagus of Julia Latronillia that is decorated with images from the New Testament and the Hebrew Bible emphasizing the connection between the two religions in fourth century Christian art. In particular the sarcophagus, which dates from the time of Constantine, presents elaborately carved scenes from the New Testament and the Hebrew Bible. The Museum's collection maps the history of the Biblical period, accentuating the shared heritage of all the monotheistic faiths.
The tour concluded with a visit to the special exhibition, THREE FACES OF MONOTHEISM, which examines the earliest symbols in each of the three Monotheistic religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. President and Mrs. Bush, Secretary Rice and American Ambassador Richard Jones then met with the enthusiastic youth from all three religions where President Bush spoke about his vision for the region, and asked the youth, ranged ages 16 to 27 about their ideas, experiences, hopes and dreams for the future.