Riga Holocaust Museum avoids closure with new lease agreement

The museum will remain on the property free of charge.

Riga Ghetto and Latvian Holocaust Museum  (photo credit: Courtesy)
Riga Ghetto and Latvian Holocaust Museum
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The Riga Ghetto and Latvian Holocaust Museum avoided closure on Wednesday after the City Property Committee of the Riga City Council formed a new land lease agreement allowing the museum to remain open.
The museum will remain on the property free of charge. The previous proposal had demanded a monthly rental fee of 10,000 euros. The museum’s previous 10-year lease, which expired this year, did not charge any rent.
The area of the museum will also be reduced by 300 square meters.
The Shamir Association which operates the museum welcomed the decision and thanked the Council for maintaining the agreement.
"Unfortunately, current conditions prevent the possibility of the museum's future reconstruction. We hope that the government and municipality will be able to find a solution to this problem," said the association in a press release.
The Riga Ghetto and Latvian Holocaust Museum houses nine permanent exhibitions, an education center, and has had nearly 200,000 visitors from around the world.
German Nazis and collaborators murdered about 70,000 Jews who had lived in Latvia. The Riga Ghetto, similar to the Warsaw Ghetto, refers to areas of the city where Jews were forced by Nazis to live during the Holocaust.
The Ghetto Museum, which opened in 2010, is located near the border of the historical neighborhood and features a “memorial wall carries over 70,000 names of Latvian Jews who fell victims to the Holocaust and about 25,000 names of Jews from other European countries who were brought to Riga to be murdered.”

Cnaan Liphshiz/JTA contributed to this report.