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Libeskind extension for Berlin Jewish Museum unveiled

AFP · 11 May 2010, 15:21

Published: 11 May 2010 15:21 GMT+02:00

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Since opening in 2001 in central Berlin, the museum has attracted more than six million people from all over the world, with 750,000 visiting in 2009 alone.

In the same period the number of education projects organised by the museum has more than doubled, with thousands of school groups visiting every year in addition to hundreds of educational events taking place.

Together with its growing archive and library holdings, this has resulted in an "acute" lack of space, the museum said.

The extension, opposite the current site on Lindenstrasse, will be "one of the most important research and education centres on the history and culture of German-speaking Jewry," it said.

Click here for a photo gallery of the extension.

The Jewish Museum at present consists of two buildings, the Kollegienhaus, a former Baroque Prussian courthouse, and a striking, zigzag metal construction designed by Libeskind, connected by underground passageways.

For the €10-million ($12.7-million) extension, the 63-year-old will convert a large warehouse currently housing a flower market, adding three cubes, one for the entrance, one for a library and a third for an auditorium.

Story continues below…

The museum tells the story of 2,000 years of Jewish history in Germany, with special focus on the murder of six million Jews by the Nazis, including through the poignant use of empty space.

The new extension is due to open in late 2011.

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Your comments about this article

15:37 May 11, 2010 by William Thirteen
it would be useful to have a rendering of the extension accompanying the article - just sayin'...
15:46 May 11, 2010 by The Local Germany
Hold your horses. They're coming...
23:56 May 11, 2010 by Logic Guy
Well, I must first say that the events of World War II were very unfortunate. And it's a wonderful thing that Germany has done much to accept what happen. However, I must nonetheless say "Be very careful with how you deal with cultural expansion."

Yes, the goal is to provide everyone with as many opportunities as possible. Yet, as with all aspects of life, there must be a limit.
00:20 May 12, 2010 by Zobirdie
No reflection on the content, but I think visually, that building is one of the biggest eyesores in town. It looks like an overblown, jagged garden shed. I hope the extension isn't so horrendous.
05:43 May 12, 2010 by vonSchwerin
I think it's a great museum (though I don't care much for Libeskind's architecture). The exhibits are excellent, and the museum is a constant draw in Berlin. That being said, there is a real risk in expanding too much. Not only will there be many more overhead costs, but there is something nice about a highly visited, much desired, small museum.
12:48 May 12, 2010 by chris88
"Together with its growing archive and library holdings, this has resulted in an "acute" lack of space"

The museum[...] focus[es] on the murder of six million Jews by the Nazis, including through the poignant use of empty space.

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