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Narrowest house, to host Israeli writer Etgar Keret, opens in Warsaw

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WARSAW, Poland (JTA) — The narrowest house in the world, which will host Israeli writer Etgar Keret, opened officially in Warsaw. 

Keret House, which opened Saturday, will serve as a studio for artists from around the world.

The house is 3 to 5 feet wide on the outside and has a total area is 151 square feet. It was squeezed between buildings on Chlodna and Zelazna streets.

"I’m afraid that when I order a pizza it will not fit in the door," Keret said.

The project will run from three to five years, according to Piotr Nowicki of the Polish Modern Art Foundation.

Keret said the project, which some had deemed nearly impossible when it was initiated a few years ago, was exciting for several reasons.

"Art is a place where your imagination leads you," he said. "First was the idea of an architect, Jakub Szczesny, then the question of how to do it. My stories come from dreams. And so it was with this project. I am glad that I can come to Poland not as a tourist but as someone who has his home here."

Keret noted that his mother was from Warsaw and lost her family during World War II.

"Taking part in this project, I’m excited as an artist and a child of Holocaust survivor," he said.

Not far from the place Keret House was a footbridge connecting the two parts of the Warsaw Ghetto.

With the project, Nowicki told reporters, "Maybe Poland will no longer be seen only as a country connected to the Holocaust."

The narrowest spot in Keret House is the living room at 2.36 feet; the widest rooms are the bathroom and bedroom located above, at 4 feet.

The largest donor to the project was Warsaw City Hall, which contributed about $45,500.

Sarmen Beglarian, who with Sylwia Szymaniak curated the project, said Keret House will become a generator of cultural activities.

"We were able to make something that seemed impossible," Beglarian said. "We want to invite here well-known artists and have a contest for young artists."

Keret, asked about safety, responded, "Remember that I live in Israel. Compared to Israel this house is very safe."

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