Israeli president attends opening of Moscow Jewish museum
One of the world's largest museums focusing on the Jewish people was inaugurated Thursday in Moscow, with Israeli President Shimon Peres and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov attending, dpa reported.
"This is a very moving moment for me, as my parents were born in Russia," said Peres in the new Russian Jewish Museum of Tolerance, housed in a former bus depot designed by legendary Moscow architect Konstantin Melnikov.
There had been happy moments in Russia's history, but also the "shadow of persecution," said Peres.
In a written greeting, Russian President Vladimir Putin called it a "moral responsibility" to remember the Holocaust.
"The museum shouldn't just portray Jewish culture, but also the history of Russia through the prism of its people," said Putin spokeswoman Olga Shurawlyova.
The 8,500-square metre facility, packed with interactive displays will open to the public Friday. It was largely funded by donations, said a museum spokeperson.
Putin gave approval in 2001 for the city of Moscow to transfer the 1920s-era building, protected by historic preservation laws, to a federation of Russian Jewish communities.