Charitable donation kickstarts £15m redevelopment of Imperial War Museum's Holocaust exhibition

by Tom Anstey | 21 Sep 2015

London’s Imperial War Museum (IWM) has embarked on a £15m (US$23.2m, €20.6m) project to renovate and expand its Holocaust exhibition.

Kickstarted with a £5m (US$7.8m, €6.9m) donation from family-based rights charity the Pears Foundation, which was founded by Jewish philanthropist Trevor Pears, the project will be part of a wider development of IWM’s second world war galleries, which are expected to be complete by 2021.

The IWM’s Holocaust Exhibition first opened in 2000, drawing around a million visitors annually. According to IWM director general Diane Lees, the new Holocaust exhibition will retain elements that had a powerful impact on visitors, such as a model depicting the arrival at Auschwitz. The expanded exhibition will include more personal stories and direct survivor testimony at the, along with a larger collection objects and original material that will help audiences consider the cause, course and consequences of the harrowing events of the Holocaust.

In addition to the significant expansion of the exhibition, IWM is also bidding to develop a new national Holocaust memorial and learning centre, part of a government initiative being led by the UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation.

“I am immensely grateful to Pears Foundation for their £5m gift,” said Lees. “This will enable the work on the transformation of the Holocaust Exhibition and additional fundraising to begin. We are hugely supportive of the initiatives laid out by the UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation and wish to play our part to ensure that Britain has a permanent fitting memorial and meaningful educational resources for generations to come. IWM provides the right context, expertise and place for this work.”

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London’s Imperial War Museum (IWM) has embarked on a £15m (US$23.2m, €20.6m) project to renovate and expand its Holocaust exhibition. Kickstarted with a £5m (US$7.8m, €6.9m) donation from family-based rights charity the Pears Foundation, which was founded by Jewish philanthropist Trevor Pears, the project will be part of a wider development of IWM’s second world war galleries, which are expected to be complete by 2021. The IWM’s Holocaust Exhibition first
VAT,HAM
The IWM’s Holocaust Exhibition first opened in 2000, drawing around a million visitors annually
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