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      Jerusalem Day, A Cultural Revolution in Progress

      This year's Jerusalem Day marks new records in the 44th year of the reunification of the nation's capital.
      By Chana Ya'ar
      First Publish: 6/1/2011, 3:00 PM / Last Update: 6/1/2011, 3:19 PM

      Flash 90

      This year's Jerusalem Day marks new records for the 44th year of the reunification in the nation's capital.

      For a start, Jerusalem is now the largest city in Israel, both in terms of its physical area of jurisdiction – 125.2 thousand dunam (31,000 acres)– and in terms of the number of residents who call the city home.

      In 1948, the population in Jerusalem totaled just 82,900 – but by the end of 2010, there were 789,000 residents, approximately 10 percent of the entire population of the state.

      This past year also saw an all-time record in incoming tourism to the city, with 2,788,000 tourists arriving in Jerusalem from all corners of the globe – an increase of more than half a million compared to the previous year.

      Some 82 percent of all tourists arriving in Israel eventually find their way to the nation's capital, according to the Ministry of Tourism.

      The total income of Jerusalem-based hotels in 2010 stood at NIS 1,585 billion ($450 million). Jerusalem was also elected as #13 in Trip Advisor's 2011 Most Desirable Tourist Attractions – that, from a total list of 337 global hot spots.

      In the past two years, the city's budget for cultural projects has doubled, tripling the number of cultural events and festivals held in Jerusalem.

      The city's five-year plan includes the development of a new artists' quarter in midtown Jerusalem, a new theater center for theatrical groups in Maziah House, a film, art and music complex in the Menorah center, the return of the Bezalel Art School to the downtown area, and more.