New outdoor archaeological exhibit inaugurated in Jerusalem’s Old City
The exhibition, which stands on Hayehudim Street descending in the Cardo, was inaugurated on Tuesday.
By ROSSELLA TERCATIN
The images of the Old City of Jerusalem’s empty monuments and places of worship have become one of the most powerful symbols of the coronavirus emergency in Israel and the world. However, local authorities and other entities involved in its management and well-being decided to transform the crisis into an opportunity.Taking advantage of its deserted alleys, they managed to carry out renovations and create an outdoor archaeological exhibition in record time, which will enrich the experience of local and foreign visitors in the Jewish Quarter.The exhibition, on Hayehudim Street in the Cardo, was inaugurated on Tuesday. It features about 180 items that were previously scattered around the area and have now been organized in a coherent itinerary to shed light on the life and transformations in the city throughout history.“The new display provides passersby with a direct glimpse into the splendor of the public buildings, civil and religious, which have stood in the area of the Jewish Quarter throughout the ages,” curator Ravit Nanner-Soriano said in a press release. “Visitors to the exhibition will be able to be impressed by the variety and richness of the items; among them, impressive parts of columns from the Roman, Byzantine and Crusader periods, cornices and decorated items from the Middle Ages to modern times.”The project was carried out by the Jerusalem Affairs and Heritage Ministry, together with the Israel Antiquities Authority, the Jerusalem Municipality, the Company for Reconstruction and Development of the Jewish Quarter and the East Jerusalem Development Company, within the framework of the Beautiful City program.The program is aimed at improving the tourist infrastructure and visibility of the Jewish Quarter. It was launched about two years ago under the coordination of architect Avner Simon. An estimated NIS 1.5 million has been invested so far.The exhibition, courtesy of the IAA, was made possible by a donation from the Evyatar family and the Siebenberg House museum, which offered many of the items.Other renovation works were carried out in the area over the past few months.Jerusalem Affairs and Heritage Minister Rafi Peretz, Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Leon and Dr. Orit Shamir, the IAA’s head of exhibitions, attended the inauguration.“Jerusalem connects our glorious past to the present while looking at the future,” Peretz said. “We work intensively to upgrade, make accessible and develop the Old City on its various routes. In the time of this economic crisis due to corona, I invite the Israeli public to come and spend time here in Jerusalem, strengthen the capital and enjoy a Jerusalem vacation.”Lion said: “We took advantage of the rare opportunity so that construction works would not disturb the millions of visitors who come to the quarter every year, and we hope to receive them soon in a new, updated and renovated space.”
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