The Bible as holy scripture, literary masterpiece or history book has had an unprecedented influence on civilizations throughout the world. Not since ancient times has the world and context of the
Bible been studied this thoroughly, both textually and archaeologically.
Reason enough to make the Bible the theme of this exhibition and use our tin figures to do their bit. A task that - given the enormous amount of presentation possibilities - of course requires a certain amount of preselection. On the one hand, only a modest selection of figures can be used for this purpose, on the other hand, even tin figures are limited in their representation of events.
Even the first exhibit, the "team of archaeologists" (Israel Finkelstein digs through to the Bible) reflects my historical-critical approach. In pictorial research, cultural transformation seems out of place. Thus, we are quite accustomed to accepting both Old and New Testament figures in medieval costumes.
In TV documentaries, it seems completely normal that Abraham is wearing Bedouin clothing from the 19th century. I wanted to set an example in this regard and portray the costumes and architecture as authentically as possible. But twice I just couldn't resist: firstly when it
came to "Belshazzar", as orientalised by Rembrandt, and secondly with regard to "Judas", where I took inspiration from Ben Becker's portrayal. I would like to expressly point out that no theological explanation or evaluation was intended. I simply wanted to illustrate the colourful life in biblical times, but without reducing it down to a children's bible.
We want our visitors to take delight in our representations and browse through our Bible as if it were a big book. I added the corresponding Bible passages for anyone wishing to find out more about the origins of these illustrations. In conclusion, a devotional quote by the current Pope Francis: "So you have something divine in your hands: a book like fire! A book through which God speaks. Would you like to do something for me? Read the Bible.”
Gerhard Mönninghoff, February 2017 A catalogue on the museum exhibition can be purchased for 3.00 euro. Here are
some of the exhibits: