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Catholic Interactive Museum Opens in D.C.

March 25, 2001

A $60-million interactive museum and educational facility focused on Catholicism opened last week on a wooded site next to the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

The Pope John Paul II Cultural Center includes a think tank for Catholic scholars, a hall with Vatican art treasures and exhibits that explore such themes as "The Unity of Christians, the Unity of the World."

Visitors can record testimonials of faith on video, create electronic stained-glass windows and "build" a cathedral, among other activities at interactive exhibits. The Vatican galleries display about 40 works from the 4th to the 20th centuries, said the Rev. G. Michael Bugarian, the center's director.

The museum has been privately funded with money raised by Catholic parishes, fraternal groups and other sources.

Adult admission is $8. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, noon to 5 p.m. Sundays; closed on Mondays, except holidays. The center is at 3900 Harewood Road N.E. Tel. (202) 635-5400, Internet http://www .jp2culturalcenter.org.

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