Construction began yesterday on a new headquarters for the Israel Antiquities Authority. From the Jerusalem Post:
After decades in the cramped but historic Rockefeller Museum in east Jerusalem, the Israel Antiquities Authority on Sunday started construction on the National Archeology Quarter next to the Israel Museum in the capital’s west.
The new 35,000-square meter building will hold the headquarters of the IAA as well as the Israel National Archeology Library, which will be one of the largest archeology libraries in the Middle East.
The building was designed by Moshe Safdie and will also include an archeological garden, classrooms, a coffee shop and laboratory and exhibition space for the Dead Sea Scroll fragments. The IAA owns some 15,000 fragments in addition to the well-known full scrolls owned by the Israel Museum.
Additionally, the museum will feature exhibitions about how archeologists conduct research and digs, and items from some of the 20,000 archeological sites around the country.
Digging the foundation for the new building took almost a year. After publicizing the tender for a contractor a few months ago, work began on the building itself on Sunday.