13 March 2005
Crowning a multi-year redevelopment plan, Yad Vashem will inaugurate its new Holocaust History Museum on March 15. The new Museum, some 10 years in the making, will replace the current historical museum at Yad Vashem.
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, will join Israeli President Moshe Katzav, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom and Education Minister Limor Livnat in inaugurating the new Museum on March 15 and then participate 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 will be 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, will feature remarks from the heads of more than 35 delegations, their Israeli hosts and a number of leading Israeli intellectuals. They will raise their voices to the world in a call for safeguarding the memory and meaning of the Shoah for future generations, and for a rise to action against renewed anti-Semitism and intolerance.
All events are open to the media and coverage is invited but space is highly limited and most events are restricted to very tight pool coverage including live television distribution.