Holocaust Museum to be built in area administered by Grigore Antipa Museum

Director of the Elie Wiesel National Institute for the Study of the Holocaust in Romania (INSHR) Alexandru Florian on Friday voiced confidence that the Museum of the History of the Jews and the Holocaust in Romania will be built in the space under the administration of the Grigore Antipa National Museum of Natural History in Bucharest. "The Museum of the History of the Jews and the Holocaust in Romania has been in the making since 2012. If it is built in the space under the administration of the Antipa Museum, the answer today is yes, according to the latest statement of the minister of culture, who last week was saying there would be a symbolic structure there called compound," Florian said at the end of a news conference dedicated to the presentation of a recently identified mass grave at Popricani. He said that "it is not about coordinating and subordinating someone else, but about creating a cultural space with more museums than the three existing ones - the Museum of the Romanian Peasant, the Antipa Museum and the Geology Museum (...), including this Jewish History Museum along the pattern of museum districts that exist in many Western cities." "This about sums up the spirit of the government's decision that the minister said he would draw up, and the Antipa Museum would find opportunities to develop or modernise, as it has been claiming for about a month (...) In connection with this 7,300-square-meter public space, I think, between the Antipa Museum and the Museum of the Romanian Peasant, we are talking about an derelict, undeveloped public space, nothing has been done on it for over 70 years. I would say in a more popular way that the place is a waste land. And so it is not about aggressing any institution or destroying any park, as suggested at some point by the director of the Antipa Museum," added Florian. INSHR made the request for the allocation of the land organisationally, as mandated by the law, with the General Secretariat of the Government, but "no official reply has been received" except for the public statement of the culture minister. Florian said he is still open to dialogue with the management of the Antipa Museum. "I am open to any dialogue. The Elie Wiesel Institute and its future colleague, the Antipa Museum, can discuss a ton, but we have not had any contact, we have not been asked. I see that the Director continues to communicate through the media. It is what he wants, it's his choice," Florian added. On Saturday, Prime Minister Viorica Dancila said she wanted to establish the Holocaust Museum in the shortest time, and if the location near the Antipa Museum is the best, that goal will be achieved. She added that there are two options for setting up the Holocaust Museum - a government decision, or a legislative initiative. "This is right in the governance programme, we want to establish the Holocaust Museum, we have had talks on that. There are two options at the moment: one is a government decision, the other is a legislative initiative. I believe we should have both options at the forefront and we will issue a government decision and, of course, there will be the legislative proposal in Parliament that we will endorse. So I think that is something we have promised and that we have to see through. The location is a location that has been identified near the Antipa Museum, we will see if that location is the best. If it is a good location, we will set up the Holocaust Museum there," said Dancila. She mentioned that she knows there are different opinions about the place where the Holocaust Museum should be set up, stressing that what is important is for the setup to happen as soon as possible. AGERPRES (RO - author: Daniel Popescu, editor: Florin Marin; EN - author: Corneliu-Aurelian Colceriu, editor: Adina Panaitescu)

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