ITALY: Online museum launches featuring life of St. John Bosco
Casa Don Bosco Museum launches new virtual presentation of the museum’s 4,000 square meters and 27 physical exhibitions
(MissionNewswire) Casa Don Bosco Museum, located in Turin, Italy, remains open online in compliance with the rules imposed to counter COVID-19. Visitors from all over the world can visit the virtual museum through the website. The museum provides an exhibition of the origins of the Salesian founder St. John (Don) Bosco’s educational and spiritual life.
While the museum will continue to be developed over time, the virtual experience provides a digital presentation of the 4,000 square meters and 27 physical exhibition spaces currently available at Casa Don Bosco. Launching the virtual part of the museum has not been an easy task because the space was intended for an in-person experience of the saint who changed the lives of thousands of youth during his time and, thanks to his successors, millions of youth since then.
All the museums in Italy are currently closed, so a virtual component to Casa Don Bosco was necessary. Virtual visitors can enter the room where Don Bosco slept and worked, observe the architectural development di Valdocco, and admire the representations of artists portraying Don Bosco and his work with young people over the ages. The virtual museum also provides original photographs, Don Bosco’s clothes and small bits of Salesian history.
“Casa Don Bosco is the fulfilment of a mandate given to the rector major, Father Ángel Fernández Artime, by General Chapter XXVII in 2014,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “The museum is now a living memory of the life of our founder St. John Bosco. Being able to offer a virtual tour enables the museum to remain accessible during the lockdowns even if visitors can’t be there in person.”
The official inauguration of the physical space was held over three days in early October. There was a ceremony for dignitaries, including 12 ambassadors to the Holy See, Piedmontese political representatives and Turin’s mayor, who proudly noted that even in environments which are hostile to the church, Don Bosco is always well received and his message still opens doors. A grand opening to the public followed.
At the inauguration ceremonies, high school students from the Valdocco culinary school provided a reception in the courtyard. Most of the students are recent immigrants to Turin, and their expertise, pride and hard work were on full display and a reminder why Casa Don Bosco Museum exists—to keep alive Don Bosco’s dream of work for youth.
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