INAUGURATION OF THE RENOVATED ISRAEL MUSEUM IN JERUSALEM.
The Israel Museum is situated in West Jerusalem near the Church of the Holy Cross of the Patriarchate and close to the Knesset of the State of Israel and near the Givat Ram campus of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. This Museum was created and has been operating since 1965 with the inspiration of the Mayor of Jerusalem at that time, Teddy Kolek and through his collaboration with many representatives of successive Israeli Governments and of the Jewish society. Alfred Mansfield & Dora Gad were the architects of the Museum.
During the last three years, through the rigorous efforts and actions of the Director of the Museum for 13 years, Mr. James Snyder and of the Architects ‘Caprenter’s & Efrat Kowalsky’, it has been renovated with regard to the structural and building elements of its three wings, the halls and the manner of arranging and exhibiting its artifacts, with the purpose of better achieving its educational aims. The cost of these works amounted to one hundred million (100,000,000) US dollars.
This indeed ambitious, multifaceted and noteworthy project was accomplished during the planned short duration of three years and included exterior structural alterations, reconstructions and addenda which preserved the blending of the building with the natural surroundings of the valley and hillside of the Church of the Holy Cross (Minzar Ha-Matzlevah). With these construction works, the surface area of the Museum floor-space was increased from 100,000 square metres to 200,000 m².
The occasion of the renovation was celebrated with an inauguration ceremony which took place on Sunday, the 12th / 25th of July 2010 in an open area of the museum constructed in an amphitheatre design.
On behalf of the Patriarchate, His Beatitude Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos III and the Elder Chief Secretary of the Patriarchate His Eminence Aristarchos Archbishop of Constantina were invited to attend the ceremony.
Honouring the ceremony with their presence were the Prime Minister of the State of Israel Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu, the President of the State His Excellency Mr. Shimon Peres, the Minister of Welfare & Social Services of Israel Mr. Isaac Herzog, and other Ministers, the Mayor of Jerusalem Mr. Nir Barkat, highest ranking government and academic representatives, Ambassadors and Consuls of States to the State of Israel, all in the midst of a dense public.
This audience was addressed by the Director of the Museum Mr. James Snyder, the President of the State of Israel His Excellency Mr. Shimon Peres, the Prime Minister His Excellency Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu, and the Mayor of Jerusalem Mr. Nir Barkat.
In his address, the Director of the Museum Mr. Snyder thanked all those who contributed to the renovation project, the government representatives, the architects ‘Carpenter’s & Efrat Kowalsky’, the personnel and, the sponsors, many of whom were present. The other speakers, the Prime Minister and the President, emphasized the tenacity and the dynamic spirit of Mr. Snyder and the precision and professionalism of the work accomplished by him.
After the conclusion of the inauguration ceremony, members of the audience were invited, if they so wished, to take part in a guided tour of the Museum halls with their new arrangement of floor-space and the artifacts exhibit.
Chief Secretary’s Office.