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Building starts on Warsaw's Jewish history museum

Building starts on Warsaw's Jewish history museum

For the second time in two years, Polish officials began building a new museum of Jewish history in Warsaw on Tuesday that they hope will become a major cultural landmark.
An earlier groundbreaking ceremony for the planned Museum of the History of Polish Jews took place in 2007 in the presence of the Polish president, but bureaucratic obstacles then held up construction.
On Tuesday, museum officials and politicians gathered again at the museum site in the heart of the former Warsaw Ghetto. With a hammer, Mayor Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz and others symbolically removed old bricks from the remains of a previous building on the site.
Poland's Culture Minister Bogdan Zdrojewski said the museum would be "a very important address on the cultural map of Europe and the world."
Museum officials say construction will cost around 150 million zlotys ($47 million) and should be completed in 2012.
The museum will feature exhibits on the Holocaust, but its primary goal will be to remember the Jewish life that flourished in Poland before the Holocaust.
Jews lived in Poland for a millennium, receiving refuge when they were expelled from other European lands. But they also faced varying degrees of discrimination. When Hitler's forces overran Poland during World War II, they imprisoned Jews in ghettos and death camps, nearly exterminating what had been a community of about 3.5 million.
"The museum will show the fullness of (Jewish) life, although, as we all know, it will be situated in a place marked by death," Gronkiewicz-Waltz said.
During the ceremony, Jewish cantors from the U.S. sang in remembrance of those killed in the Holocaust.


Updated : 2021-04-14 10:48 GMT+08:00