15 March 2005
Heads of State and government from at least 15 countries, as well as United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan and dozens of other nations’ leaders and dignitaries, joined Israeli President Moshe Katsav, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom and Education Minister Limor Livnat in inaugurating the new Museum on March 15 and then participated in a special assembly at Yad Vashem the following morning. The new Museum is set to open to the public at the end of March.
The New Holocaust History Museum was inaugurated first with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday afternoon, followed by official tours of the Museum and a ceremony that evening, featuring Katsav, Sharon, Livnat, Annan, Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Council Prof. Shevach Weiss and Nobel Laureate Prof. Elie Wiesel.
Following a brief early morning memorial service Wednesday in the Museum’s new Hall of Names, the special assembly, Remembering the Past, Shaping the Future, featured remarks from the heads of more than 35 delegations, their Israeli hosts and a number of leading Israeli intellectuals.