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Custom House in New York Will Become a Museum of the Holocaust

The anomaly of the absence from the world’s largest Jewish community of a public memorial to victims of the Holocaust has been ended by the announcement by the federal government that the unused Custom House in lower Manhattan will become a museum of the Holocaust and the history of Jews in the diaspora.

The decision, announced by William Diamond, regional administrator of General Services Administration (GSA), said an evaluation panel had chosen the New York City Holocaust Memorial Commission to be the 77-year-old building’s tenant because the Commission’s proposal “was the strongest and best deal for the government, based on the amount of money offered. “The GSA owns the building.

The decision ended a half-year competition between two groups for rental of the landmark building — one, the Commission, the other, a consortium of arts agencies which sought to convert the building into a cultural center.

Diamond said the museum will include research facilities and an auditorium for performances. He said he could not give details of the Commission’s offer but did say the Commission will provide $5 million toward restoration of the building. He said the Commission’s proposal “will at least cover the cost” and that “there will be no loss to the government.”

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