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Construction begins on new Montreal Holocaust Museum

A rendering of the new Montreal Holocaust Museum. (Credit: Montreal Holocaust Museum) A rendering of the new Montreal Holocaust Museum. (Credit: Montreal Holocaust Museum)
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Construction on the new Montreal Holocaust Museum began on Tuesday, according to the latest information received by The Canadian Press.

Work is expected to continue until the end of 2025, with the official inauguration planned for early 2026.

The museum is slated to be built at 3535 Saint-Laurent Blvd. in the Plateau Mont-Royal borough.

"It's a symbol of our conviction that the fight against anti-Semitism requires education, and our museum's fundamental vocation is education," said Jacques Saada, president of the Montreal Holocaust Museum. "We will be able to serve more people, more students, to raise their awareness of the Holocaust and genocide in general."

The project was officially launched in February 2022.

The new museum will be located at the junction of the museum corridor and the entertainment district on a 20,000-square-foot site.

However, the building will have a surface area of 45,000 square feet as it will be more than one storey high.

It will feature larger permanent and temporary exhibition spaces, a youth area, a room dedicated to interactive hologram testimonials, state-of-the-art classrooms, a 150-seat auditorium, a commemorative space and a memorial garden.

The new museum will emphasize technology and interactivity in the hopes of capturing the attention of a younger audience.

Around $3 million will be devoted to this aspect out of a total budget of $120 million.

The Montreal Holocaust Museum has 13,500 objects in its collection, but the current space only allows it to display some 350.

The start of construction takes on a whole new significance in the current international context as the conflict between Israel and Hamas continues, as well as a rise in acts of anti-Semitism around the world, said Mr. Saada.

In November 2023, the Montreal Holocaust Museum recorded the highest number of visitors in its history.

It is estimated that some 35,000 Holocaust survivors have rebuilt their lives in Canada, including 9,000 who have settled in Montreal.

-- This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on Dec. 20, 2023. 

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