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Polish Jewish museum to break ground

The Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw will break ground June 26. The $58 million museum is set to open between 2009 and 2010. It will showcase the 1,000-year history of Polish Jews, who comprised 10 percent of the country’s population before the Holocaust – more than in any other European nation. The museum, which has a board of international experts, will focus on how Jews lived together with Poles for centuries, but will also confront head-on the subject of anti-Semitism. The groundbreaking ceremony, to be held at the museum site next to the Warsaw Uprising Ghetto Memorial, will be attended by Polish President Lech Kaczynski, Minister of Culture Kazimierz Ujazdowski, Warsaw Mayor Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz and Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Shimon Peres. Peres, who was born in Poland, is chairman of the International Honorary Committee of the museum.The groundbreaking will include the signing of a construction act to be sealed in a glass-topped space below the ground, which will also hold fragments of the buildings and streets that were destroyed by the Nazis during the1943 Ghetto Uprising.