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July 14, 1995 - Image 86

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1995-07-14

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.


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ago, but the political war for
Jerusalem is still going on," says
Major General (res.) Uzi Narkiss,
chairman of the IGCAMC board
of directors and commander of
the Israel Defense Forces which
liberated and reunited Jerusalem
in 1967. "Our interest is to
strengthen ties between Jewish
communities and individual Jews
and Jerusalem."
A medal album of Jerusalem

has recently been issued by IG-
CAMC to commemorate the city's
anniversary and contains seven
copper-nickel medals featuring
different aspects of the Holy City
— the hills of Jerusalem,
Jerusalem and the Knesset,
Jerusalem of Gold, the Gates of
Jerusalem, the Temple Mount,
the Western Wall and Pray for
the Peace of Jerusalem.
The album also features a full-
page description of each medal,
utilizing pictures, legends and
Plans are also under way to
strike medals and coins com- -
memorating both the trimilleni-
urn and the 30th anniversary of
Jerusalem's reunification in

Funding Controversy
Over Berlin Museum

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hroughout centuries of ex-
ile, Jerusalem has re-
mained on the lips and in
the hearts of the Jewish
IfI forget thee, 0 Jerusalem ...
Next year in Jerusalem — these
words continue to bear testimo-
ny to the centrality of Jerusalem
to Jews the world over.
As Jerusalem approaches its
trimillenium in 1996, marking
30 centuries since its establish-
ment as the capital of Israel by
King David, the Israel Govern-
ment Coins and Medals Corpo-
ration Ltd. is producing an array
of commemorative medals and
coins to create a tangible link
with the city.
"The military battle for
Jerusalem ended a generation

ontroversy over the find-
ing for a new Jewish mu-
seum has erupted here,
with city officials dis-
agreeing sharply with the muse-
urn's director over the museum's
operating budget and overall or-
Amnon Barzel, the Israeli di-
rector of the museum, set to open
in 1997, has criticized Berlin city
officials for using the Jewish Mu-
seum as a pretext to get funding
for other museums.
He said the city's original idea
was for a separate, independent
Jewish museum with sufficient
funding for a variety of programs.
But now, he said, the Jewish
Museum is to be a part of the
city's wider museum system, re-
sulting in sharply reduced fund-
ing. "I didn't think it would be so
difficult to establish a Jewish mu-
seum 50 years after the end of
the war," Mr. Barzel told foreign
journalists at a recent news con-
He also said the city has given
him no staff and has cut his
promised budget so dramatical-
ly that he does not have the
means with which to work.
Mr. Barzel maintained that
even though the city's top official
for culture, Ulrich Roloff-Momin,
has been generally supportive of
the new museum, other high-lev-
el civil servants have been block-
ing his plans.

He said he needs about $5 mil-
lion annually to fund lectures,
courses, films, videos and inter-
active exhibits, but that city offi-
cials have told him he can have
only $107,140 each year.
Mr. Barzel admitted that his
plans for interactive exhibits
which employ computer technol-
ogy are ambitious, but he added
that the equipment is needed to
attract the modern visitor.
Reiner Gunzer, the city official
in charge of the museum project,
rejected Mr. Barzel's criticisms.

There are financial
difficulties facing
the city of Berlin.

Mr. Gunzer, who has been
pushing for a Jewish museum
since the late 1960s, said the pro-
ject had always been envisioned
as part of Berlin's larger munic-
ipal museum system.
Mr. Gunzer, replying to
Barzel's charges, said Mr. Barzel
was given two co-workers, but
that he found them unqualified.
Mr. Gunzer said Mr. Barzel
could have handled the problem
differently — by trying to work
and improve his co-workers,
rather than complaining to jour-
Mr. Gunzer also spoke of the
financial difficulties facing the

city of Berlin, noting that every
aspect of public life has been hit
by budget cuts and that more are -
on the way.
Mr. Gunzer said Mr. Barzel
won a competition for the direc-
tor's job in part because he said
he could bring sponsors to help
fund the project.
To date, by Mr. Barzel's own
admission, there are only five
sponsors, and the city is disap-
pointed with the lack of private
supporters for the museum, Mr.
Gunzer said.
The Jewish Museum, designed
by the Polish-born Jewish archi-
tect Daniel Libeskind, is cur-
rently under construction next to
the Berlin Museum, which itself
is undergoing a massive renova-
tion. The official name of the pro-
ject is the Extension of the Berlin
Museum with the Jewish Muse-
um Department.
Construction costs for the Jew-
ish Museum are estimated at $85
million and are being under-
written by German taxpayers.
Mr. Barzel has already mount-
ed one exhibit in an improvised
exhibition hall in the basement
of the Berlin Museum's head-
The exhibit features photog-
raphy by Edward Serotta, a pho-
tographer from Savannah, Ga.,
whose pictures of Jewish life in
the wartorn Bosnian capital of
Sarajevo are on display.

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