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Run-down synagogue reborn as Jewish museum

PR dla Zagranicy
Nick Hodge 14.03.2013 13:53
A former synagogue in Plock, central Poland is being relaunched today as a museum of Jewish culture and heritage.

The Museum of Masovian Jews: press materials

The Museum of Masovian Jews (Muzeum Zydow Mazowieckich) explores the 700-year heritage of Jews in Plock and the surrounding region.

The concept was initially championed by local enthusiasts under the banner of the Plock Synagogue Association, but the realisation of the project was made possible thanks to EU funding, which covered 7.7 million zloty (1.8 million euro) of the ultimate 9 million zloty costs (2.1 million euro).

Multimedia displays illuminate the history of Jews in the Masovia region, complemented by exhibits relating to Jewish religious ceremonies, customs, cuisine and music. A separate exhibition is devoted to the Holocaust.

However, besides chronicling Jewish history and heritage, it is hoped that the building will be a home of dialogue.

“We would like it to be named as a 'Cultural Meeting Centre', so that the museum doesn't become fusty, and the institution lives and its activities develop, becoming a meeting place for people from different spheres,” said Konrad Jaskola, deputy chairman of the Plock Synagogue Association, as cited by the Polish Press Agency (PAP).

Prior to the war, about a third of Plock's inhabitants were Jewish, but the vast majority of the town's 9000 Jews died during the Holocaust.

Some of the survivors emigrated after the war, and the last remnants followed suit in 1968, after Poland's communist government launched an 'anti-Zionist' campaign.

Feliks Tuszynski, a 91-year-old Jewish artist who grew up in Plock but is now based in Australia, has donated forty paintings to the museum.

Following today's inauguration, the Museum of Masovian Jews will open to the public tomorrow. (nh)

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