In Jerusalem

Dissonant sounds from the music square

The question of who has the right to decide what kind of artistic sites Jerusalem needs is being confronted at music square.

How does society integrate philanthropy with regular procedure? What are the limits that can and should be imposed on private initiatives, even when they are designed to improve the public sphere, at least in the eyes of the donor? And what about the growing suspicion towards any activity spearheaded by religious persons? All of these questions and some others brought the city council opposition leader and the municipality to court – and not for the first time.

Laurent Levy, a French millionaire and generous philanthropist, is at the center of this particular story, which combines bureaucracy vs business pragmatism, regulation limits, religion vs secularism and money – big money.

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