UK to build national Holocaust memorial next to Parliament


The UK government on Thursday approved plans to build a national Holocaust memorial next to Parliament, rejecting campaigners’ claims that the location was inappropriate.

The government said the construction of the Holocaust Memorial and Learning Center in Victoria Tower Gardens, a park in the shadow of Parliament, would send a “powerful community message.”

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The memorial was announced in 2016, but the choice of location met with opposition. A group of activists argued that this would remove valuable green space in the heart of the city and be better built elsewhere.

After public inquiries last year, the government said the benefits of the location outweighed the “modest loss of open space” in the park.

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The £ 100million ($ 140million) memorial – designed by lead architects David Adjaye and Ron Arad – is slated to open in 2024 and will be free to visit. It is intended as the focal point of British national memory of the 6 million Jews murdered in the Holocaust and all other victims of Nazi persecution, and to provide a place for reflection on the “subsequent genocides” in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.

Marie van der Zyl, chair of the Council of British Jews’ Deputies, said “there will be something uniquely powerful about locating a Holocaust memorial right next to the center of British democracy”.

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“While the Holocaust was a particular crime against the Jewish people, the Nazis also violently persecuted Roma, gays and the disabled, and this memorial will speak about it,” she said.

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