THE JERUSALEM Nature Museum is housed in the 19th-century Villa Decan located in the city’s German Colony..
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Local nature lovers are demanding that plans for a conservatory, which is slated to be built at the Jerusalem Nature Museum near a beloved garden, be shelved or be built elsewhere.
Located in the German Colony and housed in the 19th-century Villa Decan, the museum opened to the public in 1962.
One of its most treasured sights is a large outdoor garden featuring thousands of plants, protected by walls built from Jerusalem stone.
According to Dr. Michal Motro, head of the council for the Nature Museum, municipal plans to build a five-story conservatory and pedagogic center on a parking lot near the atrium will block much-needed sunlight.
“We are really worried about the existence of this sight because it is a treasure,” she said at a Jerusalem City Council meeting Thursday night. “It’s a very dear location for many residents of the city, and the [conservatory] puts the garden in severe danger because it will block the sunlight to the plants.”
Additionally, Motro said the conservatory will require removing portions of the 19th-century walls protecting the garden.
“I don’t know why they have to build it there,” she lamented.
“They are going to ruin the walls and damage the plants.
This is the Jerusalem Nature Museum, so building a huge [conservatory] that will block this special pearl is wrong. It will diminish the effect of the atmosphere of the museum.
“It feels very unfair, and even rude, to the citizens who enjoy this special place, which has lots of history. If they build this conservatory there, it will diminish its beauty,” Motro continued.
The municipality said it will carefully review the plans for the conservatory and try to ensure its presence does not jeopardize the garden or its surrounding walls.
It remains unclear when the conservatory is scheduled to break ground.