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New design for Jerusalem's Museum of Tolerance

The Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center has unveiled a new design for its planned Museum of Tolerance in Jerusalem, to be built at an estimated cost of US$100m (£64m).

The structure will include a theatre seating up to 1,200 people, an education centre and a glass wall opening onto the nearby Independence Park. Speaking to The Jerusalem Post, the organisation's founder, Rabbi Marvin Hier, said: "We gave an opportunity to three different architectural firms and the board voted unanimously in favor of the design by Chyutin Architects. Although the others were also fine designs, we were most impressed with this one."

The Chyutin design replaces an earlier one by architect Frank Gehry, whose estimated cost of US$250m (£160m) made it too expensive to build. Hier said: "We originally wanted to incorporate some of his design into the complex, but Frank said his work was like a sculpture and that if you take out some of the pieces the whole design falls apart." The museum scheme was initially challenged by petitioners who said it should be relocated since its plot is on part of an old Muslim cemetery.

After years of legal wrangling, the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the State of Israel, which gave the land to the museum. A further sticking point was caused by the 2008 recession. This caused a drop in donations and led to the Wiesenthal Center's decision to abandon the Gehry plan which consisted of many different buildings.

Hier said he hoped the museum would be open by 2015.

The Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center has unveiled a new design for its planned Museum of Tolerance in Jerusalem, to be built at an estimated cost of US$100m (£64m). The structure will include a theatre seating up to 1,200 people, an education centre and a glass wall opening onto the nearby Independence Park. Speaking to The Jerusalem Post, the organisation's founder, Rabbi Marvin Hier, said: "We gave an opportunity to
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