WARSAW, Poland (JTA) – The Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage will provide funding for the creation of a new core exhibition of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum.
Minister Malgorzata Omilanowska and Piotr Cywinski, the museum’s director, signed a letter of intent last week in Warsaw. Project costs are estimated at about $33 million.
Wladyslaw Bartoszewski, chairman of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation and a former prisoner of Auschwitz, called the government’s decision to fund the project “of great significance.”
“It seems that in Poland there is disagreement as to what Auschwitz was, and how important is this symbol for humanity,” he said in a statement.
The work is expected to take 11 years, according to the museum, and will be done in tandem with the preservation of some of the site’s original buildings.
“For visitors it will be part of the same experience of authenticity as going through the site of the former camp,” Cywinski said.
Work on the new main exhibition began in 2008, when the initial concept for the exhibition was adopted.