Haaretz reported on this meeting yesterday, but as of now I haven’t seen an update on the ruling.
Jerusalem’s district planning council was on Sunday set to rule on a controversial museum project that archaeologists claim would destroy valuable ancient structures beneath the Old City.
The new museum is planned for the concourse beside the Western Wall of the Temple Mount – Judaism’s holiest site.
But a group of archaeologists who have petitioned the council says the new building, designed by architect Ada Karmi, would damage an ancient Roman road, flanked by rare and elaborate columns, that runs beneath the planned construction.
They say that if Jewish relics were under threat, the project would never have been allowed.
“It is impossible to exaggerate the cultural damage and the harm to antiquities that would result if the road is encased by the new building’s foundation pillars,” the archaeologists wrote in a petition to the planning council.
Whenever someone says “it is impossible to exaggerate,” it’s a dead give-away that they are exaggerating. Unfortunately the article does not provide the names of any of the archaeologists who signed the petition.
The full story is here.
6 thoughts on “Western Wall Museum Controversy”
They can't even win when they try to please people – at least they are trying to show people the remains. How come no one is upset when stuff like the Decumanus gets covered up under a road?
What is the actual name of this museum? What is its purpose? Will it be focused on the history of the Western Wall? Will it rather be more about the Temple Mount? Is there a website URL?
Just strikes me funny, I guess. I mean, I do understand the controversy regarding the roman antiquities, but clearly, the religious Jews in Jerusalem remain in a perpetual "building" mood! They are constantly adding to and changing the Jewish Quarter of the Old City. What they really want to be (re)building is a new Temple, a little to the Northeast. THAT will indeed generate quite a bit of controversy. It's only a matter of time.
Dani – I don't know the answer to these questions. If the planning committee rules against it, then it won't exist. I think that the motivation for it primarily is to protect the remains they discovered.
Most Jews have no interest in building a temple.
I think I understand. You are saying this 'proposed' museum would exist right there [your photo] where this dig is happening and for the purpose of preserving those roman remains. It only happens to be close to the Western Wall and that is why your article heading said, "Western Wall Museum Controversy" … yes?
As for "most Jews have no interest in building a temple"?
Yes. You are right. That is numerically correct, when applied to worldwide Jewry. But, that does not mean that God does not intend to have His House rebuilt. If He is for it, He alone makes a majority. There are quite a number of enthusiastic Jews who seek the rebuilding of the Holy Temple. You know this, I am sure.
And just because there are nay-sayers and those distracted by secular lifestyles, business, Tel Aviv discos and living abroad, this Temple will be rebuilt. After all, the Western Wall is only important to Judaism because of its prior role as a retaining wall from the remains of Herod's Temple mount enclosure. It is the closest they can get to a Temple.
If/when a Temple is indeed re-constructed, the Western Wall will become a footnote, since it is what goes on, up on top of the plaza that Jews from "Palestine" and the diaspora have been wailing and pining for, for millennia.
This is what I heard:
The building will be called, Beit Moreshet HaKotel – The Western Wall Heritage Center (lit. House).
It will be a visitor's center for all the visitors of the Western Wall. it will include an auditorium, classrooms, a few offices and a proper bathroom facilities.
Prof. Yoram Tzafrir is the more senior and vocal archaeologist on the petition.
The most interesting part of the plan is the possibility of excavating the entire plaza and putting the current level platform on stilts.
And as too the artifacts on the Temple Mount that got bulldozed into garbage dumps thats yesterdays news to these archaefooligists? They did nothing when bulldozers were trashing the Temple Mount and Solomons Stables but now Roman ruins oh dear heaven deliver us.