Here's the press release:
After many years filled with devotion to the cause, after overcoming all obstacles and difficulties, construction of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews will finally begin on June 30th, 2009.
Today, Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz, Mayor of Warsaw, Bogdan Zdrojewski, Minister of Culture and National Heritage, and their representative Paweł Barański, Director of the Capital City Development Authority, signed a contract with Polimex-Mostostal Construction Company, which won the bid to build the Museum. Also present at contract-signing was the Museum building designer Rainer Mahlamäki. “I believe that it is one of the most interesting museum buildings in the world,” said Mayor Gronkiewicz-Waltz and added that she was glad to see the start of construction after so many years. “Today we celebrate,” rejoiced Minister Zdrojewski and thanked the Museum team for having helped to create an exceptionally refined and successful project whose execution is awaited with impatience by multitudes of people in Poland and around the world.
“I’m glad that as of today, instead of describing the exceptional museum that we will create some day, we will be able to actually show the process of its creation. I would like to thank the Mayor and the Minister for having brought us to the point where we are today. It is said that putting the investment package together, preparing and overseeing the tendering procedure, and meeting the requirements of the Public Finances Act for the purpose of funding the Museum project was more difficult than actually building the Museum. I am certain that from now on everything will go smoothly, especially since the construction will be in the hands of professionals from Polimex-Mostostal”, said Museum Director Jerzy Halbersztadt. Polimex-Mostostal Chairman Konrad Jaskóła assured that the building would be erected in 33 months as stated in the contract and asked for support all institutions engaged in building the Museum.
Last April, Polimex-Mostostal together with Interbud-West won the Museum construction tender with their bid of PLN 152 million. A competing bidder – Warbud – filed a protest on May 8th but ultimately decided not to appeal the decision. Appeal proceedings would greatly lengthen the entire process. It was also reported that the renowned multinational engineering company Ove Arup will participate in supervising construction of the Museum.
The ceremony marking the start of construction will take place on June 30th at the square in front of the Warsaw Ghetto Heroes’ Memorial. In addition to Warsaw City Hall and Culture Ministry officials and representatives of the Jewish Historical Institute Association, which initiated the Museum project and is responsible for the core exhibition, it will be attended by business partners, sponsors and numerous guests from many countries. Splendour will be added to the ceremony by the Musical Tribute to the Memory of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, which will feature 100 cantors from the Cantors Assembly (USA), who that day will began their tour of Poland.
Polimex–Mostostal is the largest Polish construction engineering company. It specializes in erecting steel structures, which will come handy in construction of the unique curved wall of the Museum. In 2008, the company had a turnover of PLN 4.3 billion (15% higher than the year earlier). It is among 20 largest enterprises listed on Warsaw Stock Exchange. The company takes up grand investment projects (highways, railroads and power plants, Legia Stadium in Warsaw and Wisła Stadium in Krakow) and special cultural projects such as the Chopin Centre and Medical Academy library in Warsaw or the Art Education Centre in Gorzów Wielkopolski.