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The first interactive museum of Sephardic culture in the world will be in Malaga

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The first interactive museum in the world dedicated to Sephardic history and culture needs between five and ten million dollars to become a reality in the historic center of Malaga, according to what its promoters in Miami told Efe.

The project, a private initiative of public interest, was presented at a private event in Miami organized by the International Jewish Community, an organization that supports the Sephardic Heritage Foundation in this project.

Yossi Obadia, one of the promoters of the future museum, told Efe that not even in Israel is there an institution dedicated entirely to the Jews who settled in Spain from the first century after Christ.

It will be a fully digital and interactive museum that will be based in a building that will be built in a space provided by the Malaga City Council and located behind the Picasso Museum and the Roman Theatre, very close to the statue of the Jewish poet and philosopher Shlomo Ibn Gabirol. , who lived in Malaga in the eleventh century.

The Madrid architect León Benacerraf, founder of the Sephardic Heritage Foundation together with businessman Isaac Querub, has “gifted” the design of the museum’s headquarters.

The museum part will be handled by MediaPro Exhibitions, which has extensive experience in top-level digital and interactive exhibitions, according to Obadia.

All this was presented at the residence of David Bittán, from the International Jewish Community, to a group of potential donors of the future museum.

The same promotion will be done among the Sephardic communities of Latin America.

Ten million dollars

According to what Obadia told Efe, five million are needed for the creation of the museum and another five million for a reserve fund for its maintenance.

During the presentation ceremony, a three and a half minute video about the project was shown and, among others, Obadia and Marta Jimeno, from the company MediaPro Exhibitions, as well as the Consul General of Spain in Miami, Jaime Lacadena, and the president of Sephardic Heritage, Isaac Querub, the latter by videoconference.

Obadia told Efe that there will be no objects inside the museum, at most, as a symbolic element, some keys to their houses in Spain that the Jews took with them when in 1492 the Catholic Monarchs forced them to choose between conversion or death. expulsion.

In part of the museum content, MediaPro Exhobitions will use virtual reality so that the visitor lives an immersive experience in Sephardic history and culture.

Virtual reality

During the presentation, Morris Senior, descendant of Abraham Senior, collector and banker of the Catholic Monarchs, who played an essential role in the marriage of Isabel and Fernando and in the support of the Crown to Christopher Columbus so that he could make the trip, intervened virtually. search for a new route to the Indies in which he discovered America.

Obadia is based in Malaga but was born in Melilla into a Jewish family that settled in Morocco in 1492 and in 1861, reigned over Amadeo de Saboya, was the protagonist of the first documented case of Sephardim who obtained Spanish nationality after 1492.

Precisely the project to build the Sephardic museum in Malaga is closely linked to the law that in 2015 gave Sephardim the possibility of obtaining Spanish nationality, says the person in charge of the development of the Malaga Museum.

Obadia indicated that it will not be a museum of Jewish culture nor will it be focused on the period from the first century to the expulsion, but rather encompasses all Sephardim, those who converted to Christianity as well, and continues to this day.

Institutional support

Not only the Malaga City Council supports this project, but also the Malaga Provincial Council and the Andalusian Government, Obadia told Efe.

On the site where the museum will be erected, which “is worth a fortune”, Phoenician, Roman and Arab archaeological remains have been found, which, obviously, it is intended to preserve.

The museum is going to have a didactic part and to that end it will be open several days a week to students in their last years of high school so that they can immerse themselves in a little-known culture despite having developed in Spain for more than 14 centuries.

Obadia indicated that the Sephardic Heritage Foundation hopes to add the Sephardic Museum of Malaga as soon as possible to the cultural offer of a city that “is in fashion” and is a “reference” in southern Europe for its museums and cultural spaces.

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