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Religious museums

Many museums have evolved from collections of art and rare objects amassed by aristocrats, high-ranking churchmen and private collectors. The wide range of cultural artefacts and other exhibits in religious museums are testimony to a rich heritage. The central role of the Christian faith and the Church is a recurrent theme in medieval art and museums are very much engaged in collecting, preserving, researching, restoring, understanding, presenting and publicising examples of Christian art and liturgy. Thus, museums are a means of proclaiming the Christian message, as well as promoting education, knowledge and academic study. In particular, they endeavour to bridge the gap between theology, faith and art history, between catechism and museum didactics, and between the Church and other cultural institutions. As such, an icon is not merely a work of art, it is an affirmation of living religious faith.