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Minister, Mayor Reveal Plans for Jerusalem 3000 Celebration

Jerusalem Mayor Ehud Olmert and Tourism Minister Uzi Baram unveiled plans this week for Jerusalem 3000, a gala of events commemorating the third millennium since the city was declared the capital of Israel by King David.

The 15-month program of international cultural events, exhibitions and fairs is set to begin in September 1995.

Organizers said the scheduled activities will highlight the history of the city, as well as showcase cultural events, to draw Israeli and foreign visitors.

Events will include theater productions, a gospel music celebration and performances by leading orchestras, including the Berlin State Opera and the Pittsburgh Symphony.

Baram said he hopes the activities will draw record numbers of tourists to Jerusalem.

He acknowledged that some European countries, which have not recognized Jerusalem as the sovereign capital of Israel, may formally oppose the activities.

Olmert said those planning the celebration would try to appeal to Jews, Christians and Muslims alike.

He noted that even though the future status of Jerusalem is a matter of debate, its past is not.

“The celebrations are not going to be a political event,” the mayor said.

The event is the brainchild of former Jerusalem Mayor Teddy Kollek, who is serving as international coordinator for the event.

Jerusalem 3000 committee have been established in cities such as Boston, Chicago, New York, London and Paris to help raise money. The event’s projected budget is $11 million, organizers said.

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