October 23, 2011. (Romereports.com)
There's no doubt, Mumbai is a busy city. At least 15 million people live
here, in what's know as India's commercial capital. Catholics make up a
small percentage, but despite being a minority, the religious heritage
is strong. In fact, the city recently opened its first Christian art museum with relics that date back to the 16th century.
Card. Oswald Gracias
Archbishop of Mumbai (India)“There is so much to learn about our own history, the richness of the Church's history and also the brilliance of the artists who did all this. The works are very impressive.”
Among the treasures are church manuscripts, books, crucifixes, chalices, alters, vestments, statues, paintings and all types of sculptures.
The museum gives Indian Catholics a way to look back at their rich history, but above all, a sense of pride and curiosity. Father Warner D' Souza is the mastermind behind the project.
Fr. Warner D' Souza (India)
Catholic Church Committee on Heritage
“We realized that we were losing a lot of wonderful pieces that were lying around the place and they weren't really being restored. Once we took the matter to the cardinal, he showed great interest. Initially everybody was skeptical, but then gradually, it was really a necessity that made us collect these pieces, but then it became a passion.”
The museum also has an amphitheater that gives visitors the chance to see films, visual presentations, and of course, it's also a forum for discussion on art, culture and religion.
“To make this an interactive wall, where you can look at the place and say Our Lady of Remedy, Poinsur and actually touch it and then all the stuff in a computer would flow out and you get all the information of the history of that church.”
In a city that already prides itself with beautiful architecture, hundreds of churches and parishes, this museum is being recognized as a source of inspiration and education for future generations.