Holocaust. Auschwitz concentration camp
Holocaust. Auschwitz concentration campiStock

A much delayed plan to construct a new Holocaust museum in downtown Montreal, Canada is moving forward.

The project has been given the green light with a multi-million dollar budget and the purchase of a 20,000 square foot former parking lot, the Canadian Jewish News reported.

The location is situated in a neighborhood that was once home to a flourishing community of Jewish immigrants.

The Montreal Holocaust Museum (MHM) has been located within the Federation CJA building lobby since its opening in 1979.

However, lack of space for an increasing number of visitors to exhibits and programs, an expanding collection, a growing educational component and a bigger focus on human rights advocacy meant that the museum had outgrown its current location, MHM leaders said.

The project has an estimated cost of $80 million. So far, $31 million has been raised in private donations. Another $20 million is hoped for through a fundraising campaign. The government of Quebec has also pledged $20 million.

The new museum will be consist of a 45,000 square foot space, including a 10,000 square foot permanent exhibition space, a 3,5000 square foot temporary exhibition space, a 150-seat auditorium, a high tech classroom wing, a café and a store. There are also plans for an outdoor peace garden.

Plans project 70,000 annual visitors to the museum, with the MHM aiming to become the main Holocaust education center in Canada.

The MHM’s collection currently contains over 13,000 artifacts from Jewish communities before, during an dafter the Holocaust given to them by survivors and their descendants. It has also filmed nearly 900 survivor testimonies.