(February 10, 2020 / JNS) Madrid will open a Jewish museum in a building that had been illegally occupied by members of the anti-capitalist Occupy network, the city’s mayor said on Thursday.
“This is the only major capital in Western Europe without a museum, yet it has deep Jewish ties to countless Jews who continue to nurture the Sephardic culture since the expulsion of 1492 and their affection to Spain,” Mayor José Luis Martínez-Almeida said in announcing the decision.
The museum is set to open within two years in a building nicknamed “The Ungovernable.” In November 2019, the mayor’s municipality won a legal battle to evict the squatters from the building, who had been living there since 2017.
The museum will be leased for free for 50 years, and Fundacion Hispano-Judia, a Madrid nonprofit that promotes Jewish heritage, will be responsible for providing funding for the museum, according to JTA.
The publication Libertad Digital reported that a Jewish museum may help advance Madrid’s bid for UNESCO recognition of the central Cortes area, which is where the museum will be located.
A Jewish museum was scheduled to open in 2017 in Lisbon, Portugal, but has been stalled due to opposition by residents and some local politicians.
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