Israel to spend $18m to build Albert Einstein Museum in Jerusalem

Einstein, a supporter of the Zionist movement, was among the founders of the Hebrew University, where the museum will be located.

By Sharon Wrobel, The Algemeiner

The Israeli government on Sunday approved a $18 million project to build a museum in Jerusalem which will display the entire archive of the world-renowned physicist Albert Einstein.

The Albert Einstein Museum will be built on the grounds of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Safra Campus for visitors to study his archive, which will be accessible in a digital format. The museum will also serve as a center for scientific and technological education, including the use of scientific demonstrations and original documents, the Hebrew University said in a statement.

Einstein, known as the father of the theory of relativity and a major contributor to quantum theory, was among the founders of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a supporter of the Zionist movement. Back in 1923, he visited Mount Scopus in Jerusalem where he delivered the university’s inaugural scientific lecture and edited its first collection of scientific papers.

Later in life, the physics Nobel laureate willed his personal archives and all of the rights to his works to the Hebrew University.

“The government of Israel approved building a one-of-a-kind museum dedicated to Einstein,” said alternate Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. “The Hebrew University owns all of Einstein’s manuscripts, original papers, the original note where he wrote E=mc^2.”

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The museum will include a reconstruction of Einstein’s library and office where visitors will be able to view several of his original papers. The museum will “present Einstein’s contributions to science, the impact of his discoveries on our lives today, his public activity and involvement in key historical moments during his lifetime,” according to the Hebrew University.

It will also document Einstein’s “deep connection with the destiny of the Jewish people, the State of Israel, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem,” it was added.

“The establishment of the Albert Einstein Museum and the provision of a permanent home for the full Einstein archives will bolster the standing of Israeli academia in general, and of the Hebrew University in particular, in the international arena; will reinforce the international status of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital; and will bring tens of thousands of tourists to this unique site,” stated Jerusalem Affairs and Heritage Minister Ze’ev Elkin.

Hebrew University President Asher Cohen thanked the Israeli government for their support in establishing the museum, which he said will “preserve and cherish the legacy of the greatest scientist of our time.”

“Einstein was one of the most prominent supporters of the State of Israel and one of the founding fathers of Hebrew University,” Cohen added. “His legacy of excellence in academic research forms the very foundation of our university, whereas his scientific achievements, which changed the world of physics, continue to impact all of our lives, from lasers and nuclear energy to GPS and space travel.”

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