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01.11.2020

Danish Jewish Museum, Copenhagen

Jewish Museum Danish, in Copenhagen, Denmark, sits inside the Danish Royal Library of the old Gallery House and exhibits Danish Jewish historical artifacts and works of art. The building, designed by architect Daniel Libeskind, perpetuates the history of Danish Jews who were rescued from Nazi persecution by their fellow Danish citizens in October 1943. Construction of the museum began in March 2003, and the museum opened in June 2004.

At the turn of the XVII century, King Christian IV built the Danish Royal Boat House, which was later renovated in 1906 during the construction of the adjacent Royal Library. In 1985, the Society for Danish Jewish History decided to establish a museum in Copenhagen dedicated to its namesake. However, it was not until the 1990s that the organization met with Daniel Libeskind, and the Royal Library website underwent another transformation. The restoration of the boat house, made by architects Fogh & Følner, began in July 2002, and the Danish Jewish Museum was completed in September 2003. In June 2004, the museum opened.

The museum is the first official museum in Denmark dedicated to minorities or immigrants. Instead of focusing on the Holocaust, the board of directors of the museum, members of the Society for Danish Jewish History, decided to present the diversity and culture of the Jewish community in Denmark to emphasize the positive and unique aspects of Jewish history. which is about 400 years old.

Along with diversity, another theme is explored in the museum - inclusiveness: Danes include Jews in everyday society; the Jewish community is open to the surrounding society; and therefore the museum addresses Danes and non-Jewish foreigners. The management of the museum had to consider the level of knowledge of the target audience. In particular, they had to find a balance between famous events, such as the Salvation of Danish Jews in October 1943, and less well-known ones.

The evolving function of space influenced the design of Libeskind. The layout of the museum includes a pedestrian walkway between the new and the old library, summer grounds for outdoor cafes and places for intimate conversations on the first level of the entrance. The entire building is organized as a series of planes, each of which corresponds to a specific area of religious discourse. Together, these planes, named Exodus, Desert, Grant of the Law and Promised Land, cut out inner corridors from broken passageways and sloping floors. These corridors make up the museum's exhibition spaces and, as they are wrapped, form letters of the Jewish word mitzvah, which means "good deed. According to the museum's website, the shape of the building is a commentary on the artifacts and works of art that are stored there, in parallel with how the accompanying texts often highlight various aspects of the Talmud . Libeskind describes space as "a kind of text running within a frame consisting of many other surfaces - walls, interior spaces, shop windows, virtual perspectives.

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