Court clears Gehry design for construction

on Friday,February 06,2009 22:02

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After a high-profile court case, a controversial architectural project is set to materialize in the heart of Jerusalem.

Frank Gehry''s design for the Museum of Tolerance, scheduled to be built on the site of an ancient Muslim cemetery, had been put on hold pending a case at Israel''s High Court of Justice. However, late last year it was announced that the court would allow the construction to proceed, according to the Architectural Record.

"I believe in the urgent need for a peace that is just for both sides. The museum will embody the values of respect and compassion that have guided many faiths spanning Jerusalem''s 3,000-year history," Gehry told the Architect''s Journal.

However, not everyone agrees.

A group of British architects expressed their support for the lobby group Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine (APJP) and several human rights groups in their bid to halt the construction.

According to the MOTJ website, the 230,000-square-foot complex will house two multimedia museums addressing the themes of tolerance and social responsibility and will feature a state-of-the-art multilingual International Conference Center and Grand Hall for educators, scholars and leaders from around the world.

In addition to that, the 500-seat Theater for the Performing Arts will host films, concerts and town hall meetings contributing to a cultural revival of the city center.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center-backed project is estimated to cost $200 million and is expected to be completed by 2014.
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