A huge mural, 50 meters long and five meters high and titled “Am Yisrael Chai,” celebrating 4,000 years of Jewish history, was unveiled at Ben-Gurion Airport on Tuesday.
The mural tells the story of the Jewish people, starting with the creation of Adam to the formation of the nation of Israel, its exile, the rise of Zionism and the establishment of the modern state.
It continues through the story of the State of Israel in its 75 years of existence, its development, wars, innovations, landscapes, leaders, scientists and thinkers.
The painting was done in a graphic art style inspired by South American and Mexican art. International Mexican artist Julio Carrasco Bretón created the mural.
The mural is an initiative of the Israel-Latin America Network (ILAN), which aims to strengthen relations between Latin America and Israel, particularly in the area of innovation. The project began about a year ago with the blessing of Israeli President Isaac Herzog on the occasion of the state’s 75th birthday.
On hand at the unveiling were Bretón, Transportation Minister Miri Regev, World Zionist Organization Chairman Yaakov Hagoel, President and founder of ILAN Isaac Asa and a delegation of about 50 ILAN representatives, including heads of Jewish communities from Central and South America, members of Congress and other dignitaries.
“We were privileged, together with the members of the ILAN organization and the leaders of the ILAN communities in Latin America, to complete the most comprehensive and detailed artistic mural painting project in the history of the Jewish people and in the entire world,” Asa said.
“In fact, this is the only place in the world where the heritage and history of a people are concentrated in one place and in an accessible and artistic way that everyone can understand, be moved by and empathize with,” he added.
“The people of Israel has come a long way through the generations, the Jewish people has contributed values of morality and social solidarity and innovation to all humanity. We carried out a complex logistical operation to bring this mural to Israel. Whoever enters Israel will be able to see with their own eyes the story of history, the future and the significant contribution of the Jewish people and the State of Israel to the family of nations,” Asa said.
The mural, which currently covers the entrance wall to Israel at the airport’s Terminal 3, is only beginning its journey. It will be displayed at other locations throughout Israel of historical and state value, as well as in Jewish communities in Europe, South America, and the U.S.
The piece was launched a few months ago in Mexico in a ceremony attended by the country’s then-Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard, the heads of Jewish communities in South America, ministers and other dignitaries.