WARSAW, Poland (JTA) – The Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage will provide funding for the creation of a new core exhibition of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum.
A letter of intent was signed on March 6 in Warsaw by Minister Malgorzata Omilanowska and Piotr Cywinski, director of the museum. Project costs are estimated at about.$33 million.
“The decision of the Polish government and the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of special support for the creation of the main exhibition is of great significance. It seems that in Poland there is disagreement as to what Auschwitz was, and how important is this symbol for humanity,” Wladyslaw Bartoszewski, chairman of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation and a former prisoner of Auschwitz, said in a statement.
Work on the new main exhibition began in 2008, when the initial concept for the exhibition was adopted. The Museum staff was supported by the Special International Consultative Group, which invited distinguished experts in the field from Poland, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and Israel.
“For visitors it will be part of the same experience of authenticity as going through the site of former camp,” Cywinski said.
Work on the exhibit is expected to take 11 years, according to the museum, and will be done in tandem with preservation of some of the site’s original buildings.
In addition to the main exhibition, the museum hosts 12 national exhibitions representing the relations between the history of German occupation in the countries from which transports were sent to Auschwitz and the fate of their citizens in the camp.