Bible Museum in Brasilia sparks controversy

Partial view of Brasilia

Partial view of Brasilia

Organizations contest the execution of a deceased architect's work in a classified city.

The construction of the Bible Museum in the heart Brasilia, based on a 1990s Oscar Niemeyer project, is sparking controversy. Brasilia's Bureau of District Architecture and Urbanism Organizations (CEAU) has issued a note expressing concern over the execution of the work, since Brasília is a classified and protected area.

The organizations further contest the execution of a work by a late architect. "In deference to and recognition of the importance of the work of our great architects and artists, these organizations believe that sketches, preliminary studies, blueprints, etc., created by deceased authors, no matter how valuable they are as records of their inventiveness, should not be developed and carried out by third parties," the statement reads.

CEAU president Daniel Mangabeira pointed out that the organizations suggest that all those involved should be heard before the work begins: "The purpose of the statement was to draw attention to the fact that the people must be heard, the Historical Heritage Institute must be heard. If the construction has been approved, and it has been approved, where it will be located? Why did they choose to build the Oscar Niemeyer office?," he said.

The letter of intent for the construction of the Bible Museum was signed on October 9. The Federal District government plan is to raise R$63 million without impoverishing the treasury and deliver the monument in 2022. The site will have a capacity for 50,000 people.

The building will have the shape of an open bible and will feature cinema theaters, a food court, a theater hall, a library, indoor parking, and rooms for lectures and exhibitions. The Bible Museum is expected to be built on a 15,000m2 plot in Eixo Monumental, the road where Três Poderes Square is located, but on the other end, near Parque Indústrias de Abastecimento Road, between Cruzeiro and the Urban Military Sector, in the heart of Brasilia.