Prague's Jewish Museum celebrates 100 years

The Jewish Museum in Prague is celebrating its 100th anniversary with a yearlong program of concerts and exhibitions, officials said Wednesday. About 100 theaters, concert halls, galleries and other institutions across the Czech Republic will participate in the project, which will present important works of Jewish art to the public throughout the year, museum director Leo Pavlat said. The Prague's Jewish Museum was founded in 1906, but was closed to the public after the 1939 Nazi occupation of Czech territory. In 1942, the Nazis formed a central museum here where works of art from all closed Czech synagogues and Jewish communities were deposited. The museum was reopened after the World War II, but was nationalized by the former Communist government in 1950. In 1994, it was returned to the Jewish community. With some 600,000 visitors annually, the Jewish Museum is the most visited museum in the country. The Czech Republic currently has only a tiny Jewish community of several thousand. Nearly 120,000 Jews lived on Czech territory before the war; 80,000 perished in the Holocaust.
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