Bones from an ancient Jewish cemetery found during the reconstruction of a stadium in Belarus will be reburied.
The stadium in Gomel was built soon after World War II on the site of an ancient Jewish cemetery. Some of the bones were reinterred during the original construction, while others remained under the stadium.
Workers building the new lighting mast recently found bones that had been buried in the ancient cemetery.
“Builders gathered the bones and invited representatives of the office of the public prosecutor,” Oleg Krasny, vice head of the Jewish Akhdut community, told JTA. “Experts of the office did research and proved that they are very old.”
Krasny said two possible places for reburial being discussed are an old Jewish cemetery and the Jewish section of a modern cemetery in Gomel.
“We don’t have any information that some bones were thrown away,” he said. “I don’t exclude that workers could have moved some of them away and didn’t confess, but I have no evidence of it.”
In recent years, Jewish organizations have faced obstacles with the reburial of bones found during the reconstruction of several Belarusian stadiums built on the sites of ancient Jewish cemeteries.
“Building stadiums on the ancient cemeteries indicates the wish of the Soviet authorities to annihilate the historical memory,” Jakov Basin, the vice president of the Union of Belarusian Jewish Public
Associations and Communities, told JTA.