Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Czech Republic: Nationwide Jewish Museum Links Historic Sites Across Country

Jicin, Czech Republic.  Restored Synagogue.  Photo: Samuel D. Gruber 2009.

In the past I've written about the exceptional work being done in the Czech Republic to restore and present notable Jewish historic and architectural sites.  Since at least 2009 plans have been laid to create a linked network of sites with exhibitions and tourist infra-structure to help draw visitors out of Prague and to explore the fascinating, beautiful and still-oft preserved place of Jewish history throughout the country. As Ruth E. Gruber reports in an JTA article, the plan for what is essentially a nation-wide Jewish museum, is now moving ahead with significant support from the EU.

New Czech Jewish museum to spread exhibits across 10 sites nationwide

PRAGUE (JTA) -- A large Jewish museum set to open in the Czech Republic in October will be a far cry from any Jewish museum in Europe.

Instead of one building or a complex of exhibition halls in one city, it will be a nationwide museum comprising 10 linked thematic exhibitions in 10 restored synagogue buildings located in as many different towns and cities.

Called 10 Stars, the project is being coordinated by the Czech Federation of Jewish Communities, which owns the buildings, with the bulk of the funding coming from a $14 million grant from the European Union. About 15 percent of the financing is being provided by the Czech Culture Ministry.

“It’s actually one museum scattered around the country,” said Tomas Kraus, the executive director of the federation.

“The exhibition in each site will be linked to one certain phenomenon in Jewish history, culture, religion, traditions,” he said. “The idea is that if you visit one of the sites, even by chance, you will realize that there are nine other parts of the exhibition, so you will want to visit them, too.”

Read the full article here

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