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Warsaw's Jewish museum opens doors to Forest Gallery

PR dla Zagranicy
Peter Gentle 06.09.2014 09:00
The Museum of the History of Polish Jews invites visitors on Saturday to see the first section of its core exhibition, seven weeks before the grand opening.

Forest gallery at Museum of the History of Polish Jews: photo - PAP/Jacek Turczyk

The artistic installation takes visitors into a boudless primeval forest which symbolizes Poland a thousand years ago when the first Jews, fleeing persecution in Western Europe, arrived to Polish lands.

Legend has it that they heard birds chirping ‘Po-lin, Po-lin’, one of the Hebrew and Yiddish names for Poland which also means ‘rest here’.

The Jews considered this a sign from heaven that they had reached a safe heaven where they could develop their spirituality, culture and learning.

Unveiling the programme of ‘Polin Day’ at a press conference on Thursday, the director of the museum Dariusz Stola announced that the word ‘Polin’ has been added to the museum’s name, which from now on is: 'Polin. Museum of the History of Polish Jews'.

“The word ‘Polin’ is inscribed in the architecture of the museum. It best conveys the idea of the museum, because it is the Jewish name for Poland; it is a word in which both Polishness and Jewishness resound,” Dariusz Stola said.

The museum’s core exhibition will be a multimedia narrative exhibition that chronicles the one thousand-year history of Polish Jews and will consist of eight galleries.

Having left the Forest, a space of legend, imagination, sounds and voices, visitors will be able to walk down a bustling street, stroll past shops, theatres and cafes and glance at posters heralding the political events of the day.

One of the galleries will be devoted to the Holocaust but unlike the Holocaust Museum in Washington and the Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, the Warsaw Museum will extend the historical narrative beyond the Holocaust.

The opening of the core exhibtion on 28 October is to be attended by the President Komorowski, high-ranking politicians from many countries, as well as representatives of Jewish organizations worldwide. (mk/pg)

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