The new Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum
Photo: Dan Balilti
World leaders bow their heads
International leaders flock to Jerusalem for new Yad Vashem Holocaust museum inauguration; Jerusalem police on high alert

JERUSALEM - More than 40 world leaders, heads of state, and senior government officials are scheduled to take part in the new Yad Vashem Holocaust Musuem

inauguration ceremony Tuesday.


Among the distinguished guests expected at the ceremony are U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and President Moshe Katsav are expected to attend as well.


The new Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum, which is four times the size of the existing museum, is the largest Holocaust museum in the world.


The new museum will place a special emphasis on presenting the history of the Holocaust from a personal, human, and Jewish perspective by displaying original personal belongings and depicting the story behind them.


The new museum will display more than 2,500 items, including original documents, movies, and diaries so that visitors can absorb the information via a

multi-dimensional experience.


Planning and construction of the museum took 10 years and cost an estimated USD 40 million.


The new museum is part of a group of Holocaust museums that includes the new Holocaust History Museum and the Museum for Holocaust Art, which will display the largest collection in the world of art pieces that were created in the ghettos, concentration camps, and other locations.


Police on high alert


The Jerusalem police, meanwhile, have completed preparations ahead of the Holocaust Museum opening ceremonies.


Hundreds of police officers, Border Guard troops, and volunteers are expected to deploy early Tuesday near hotels and on the main roads to be taken by foreign delegations en route to the event and to meetings with Katsav and Sharon.


A police command center will be set up in each of the five hotels that will accommodate the guests, and a portable command center headed by Jerusalem Police Chief Major General Ilan Franco will be set up to supervise the entire operation.


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