Irish museum wins temporary reprieve


Dublin's Irish Jewish Museum, which has been under threat of closure, has secured a stay of execution from the trust that owns its premises.

The Raphael Siev Charitable Trust is named after the museum's late curator, who donated three buildings to the 29-year-old institution. The museum currently operates in two adjacent houses and has been fundraising for a £9 million expansion - required to meet national standards - having received planning permission early in 2014.

In a letter to supporters last week, the chairman of the museum's management committee, Moti Neuman, described the situation as "critical" and pleaded "for help to save the Irish Jewish Museum. The management committee regrets that it has been unable to raise sufficient financial support to date to complete this worthy project."

But now the trust - which had threatened to put its properties on the market at the beginning of May - appears to have relented.

This is partly down to the National Museum of Ireland urging the RSCT to change its position in a letter from director Raghnal Floinn warning that not expanding the museum would be a missed opportunity.

"We have just agreed with RSCT to postpone their deadline and we are continuing to explore the options for a solution," Mr Neuman said this week.

The museum plans to fit enlarged display space, a kosher café, archive storage and research areas into the expanded building. It currently attracts 10,000 visitors annually in a city where the Jewish population is barely 1,000.

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