Tour of Historical Buddha Relics Makes First Visit to Davenport
September 6, 2013

A world-wide free public exhibit of ancient and sacred relics of the historical Buddha Shakyamuni and other great Buddhist masters from India Tibet, Korea & China will be on display at the Figge Art Museum in Davenport on: Friday, September 6th (Opening Ceremony at 6 pm to 8 pm); Saturday, September 7th (10 am to 7 pm); Sunday, September 8th, (10 am to 5 pm) at the Figge Art Museum 225 West Second Street Davenport, Iowa 52801This is a Free Event.

This is a rare opportunity to view these sacred relics, which were found among the cremation ashes of these Buddhist masters. They resemble beautiful, pearl-like crystals called 'ringsel'. Buddhists believe relics embody the master’s spiritual qualities of compassion and wisdom and are deliberately produced by the master at his death.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama has graciously offered to this collection, eight Relics of the Buddha that are over 2,500 years old. Each of these eight relics were rescued from Tibet in 1959 by His Holiness, after the invasion of China. The tour also features relics from over forty other Buddhist masters from different parts of the world.

Visitors may also participate in a Blessing Ceremony, if they like, where the relics of the Buddha are gently placed on the crown of the visitor’s head as a personal blessing.

Visitors often report experiences of inspiration and healing when in the presence of the relics. While some are inspired to pray for world peace and to develop their inner wisdom, others are overcome by emotion as the powerful effects of the relics open their hearts to compassion and loving-kindness.

"I was skeptical going into it, but I'm a curious person and kept and open mind. I left there amazed. It's hard to put into words, but the energy was very powerful. My friend who was with me and who doesn't believe in anything, was blown away," Ben Easter, Des Moines Relic event visitor.

Relic Tour Manager Amanda Russell says she has been consistently moved by what people tell her about their experiences encountering the relics. “Nearly everyone reports some kind of change or shift, whether it is releasing physical or emotional pain or experiencing a profound sense of peace”.  

The tour was created in 2001 by the modern day Buddhist master Lama Zopa Rinpoche. The tour has visited 67 countries and over 1.4 million people have visited the relics.

This is not a Buddhist event and is intended for all walks of life and faith, to learn about and to experience these historical sacred Relics.

The relics are clearly visible inside display cases that encircle a life-size, golden statue of the Maitreya Buddha. According to Buddhist scriptures, Maitreya will be the next Buddha to bring teachings of loving-kindness to the world. Eventually, some of the relics will be enshrined in a 150-ft/45-m bronze statue of Maitreya Buddha that is being built in Bodhgaya, northern India.

“The very name ‘Maitri’, that’s loving-kindness. Now in today's world, we really need the promotion of Maitreya, Maitri, loving-kindness.” 
– His Holiness the Dalai Lama


Keep in Touch

Receive news about Figge’s exhibitions, events, and more.


225 West Second Street
Davenport, Iowa



Museum | 563.326.7804

Cafe | 563.345.6647



Monday | Closed

Tuesday - Wednesday | 10am - 5pm

Thursday | 10am - 9pm

Friday - Saturday | 10am - 5pm

Sunday | 12pm - 5pm



Monday Closed

Tuesday - Friday 11am - 2pm

Saturday - Sunday Closed

Thursday Happy Hour: 4-9 pm

*See calendar for holiday exceptions