The museum, which belongs to the Israelite Community of Thessaloniki, will be built on a plot of land with an area of 3,166 sq.m. and will consist of six floors and two basement levels
Its construction is expected to begin in November 2023 Holocaust Museum at the western entrance of Thessaloniki while, according to the schedule, it will open its gates at the beginning of 2026, constituting not only a sample of excellent architecture and a beacon of memory but also a very important development driver for the wider area of the western entrance of the city, exceeding 500 thousand visitors.
The schedule of the project up to the final phase of its completion was presented by Dimitrios Samaras, Managing Director of the “Samaras & Associates” Group, who also manages the project during the event on the theme “Holocaust Museum of Greece – The prospects for the development of the local economy” , which took place as part of the Money Show Thessaloniki 2023.
The Museum, which belongs in the Israelite Community of Thessaloniki will be built on a plot of land of 3,166 sq.m. and will consist of six floors and two basement levels. It will cover a total area of 9,000 sq.m. with educational, multi-purpose and recreational areas. A neighboring property of 2,500 sq.m. has been designated to serve the road access. for outdoor parking with 75 vehicle spaces and three buses.
The project schedule
The goal of all the project operators is the issuance of the pre-approval of the building permit, which is one of the most important milestones in its implementation and is set to be issued by the middle or the end of February at the latest. The final study is expected to be completed in June and subsequently, the final building permit of the Museum will be issued, paving the way for the auction of its construction. The selection of the general contractor and the start of its construction is placed in November 2023 with the aim of its completion at the end of 2025.
The Holocaust Museum will open its doors to the public in early 2026 and its creation, as Mr. Samaras characteristically said, will not only upgrade the area that lost 55,000 Jews, but will also stimulate much more investment interest, creating the conditions for the development of the entire western region. “It will contribute to the promotion of Thessaloniki as a destination of historical memory, while its creation north of the city’s port and at the western entrance is of essential importance as it was there that the Jews of Thessaloniki were boarded against their will and transported to the concentration camps,” added Mr. Samaras while the Memorial Park is planned to be created at the same spot.
It is noted that the Holocaust Museum will be erected on an area of 10 acres of land granted by the municipality of Thessaloniki and fully covers the needs for its construction. Its implementation will be co-financed mainly by the Federal Government of Germany and the “Stavros Niarchos” Foundation, where both will allocate 10 million euros, while the Greek government will participate with 10 million euros. It is recalled that Albert Burla was recently added to the list of donors with one million dollars accompanying the Genesis Prize for 2022 awarded to him by the Genesis Prize (“Jewish Nobel”) Foundation. By decision of the Greek government, the donors of the project are exempted from VAT.
Regarding the progress of the studies, an international competition was organized to select museologists for the project, from which the partnership of the American museographic office Gallagher & Associates and the distinguished museologist Yitzchak Mais from Israel with extensive knowledge in Jewish history was selected as the researcher.
The Holocaust Museum has now passed into the realm of implementation, emphasized in statements by the Mayor of Thessaloniki, Konstantinos Zervas, underlining that for Thessaloniki, the West Entrance is the future and the great – emblematic intervention in this part of the city is the Holocaust Museum.
The Deputy Minister of Macedonia-Thrace, Stavros Kalafatis, addressed the event, while the speakers were the President of the Holocaust Museum and the Israelite Community of Thessaloniki, David Saltiel, Ioannis Masoutis, President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Thessaloniki, and Konstantinos Tornivoukas, CEO of Tor Hotel Group.
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