Monument to Jewish refugee ship MS St. Louis could be Halifax-bound

Good reversal (see earlier post Holocaust survivors: ‘Shameful’ that Pier 21 not displaying memorial to victims of ‘voyage of the damned’):

The future of the Wheel of Conscience, designed by world-renowned architect Daniel Libeskind to honour the vessel turned away by Canada and other nations during the Second World War, had been up in the air while it remained in a warehouse after being sent to Toronto-based builders Soheil Mosun for repairs last summer.

The museum and the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) had been working together to find a better home for the monument, which features moving gears that had been experiencing technical difficulties since it was unveiled in 2011.

CIJA sent an email to members of the Canadian Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Descendants Monday to share the news that they had found a way to return the Wheel of Conscience to the museum, currently undergoing renovations, after it reopens in May.

“In the interim we will find a (site) for it in Toronto to ensure that it operates properly outside of the warehouse in which it is currently being stored,” Cindy Osheroff, assistant director of GA services and project management wrote in the email Monday.

Osheroff directed questions to CIJA head Shimon Fogel, who said in an email Monday that it was too early to comment.

Chapman said the monument will now be displayed on the main floor, which will provide easier access, and that the builders have resolved its earlier problems.

“(They) have said that they’ve made it much more robust and shored up the gears and things so that hopefully it won’t experience the same behaviours it experienced the last time it was here,” said Chapman.

Sidney Zoltak, co-president of the Canadian Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Descendants, said he welcomed the news.

“I’m glad that it came to positive conclusion and hope that we don’t have to sort of have these kinds of disputes of things that have to do with feelings,” Zoltak said.

Monument to Jewish refugee ship MS St. Louis could be Halifax-bound | Toronto Star.

Holocaust memorial should be returned to its rightful home

Op-Ed by Bernie Farber and myself on the Daniel Libeskind memorial of Jewish refugees on the MS St. Louis not admitted to Canada prior to the outbreak of World War II:

The Wheel of Conscience serves as a reminder, in today’s troubled times, of the need for a more understanding and welcoming approach to refugees, whether we’re talking about the millions displaced in the Mideast or the refugee claimants fighting for health-care access here in Canada. And it serves as a reminder, too, of the terrible cost of the opposite approach.

Treating the Wheel as so much junk packed away in a dark warehouse for no one to see is a disgrace. Canadian Holocaust survivors have stated their desire to have the memorial at Pier 21 where it properly deserves to be.

It is time for the federal government under whose auspices Pier 21 operates to take action.

The Wheel of Conscience belongs at the gateway to Canada, where it can stand as a canary in the mine, a cry against inhumanity and intolerance. Let it no longer be a refugee, let it be granted its proper home.

Halifax monument to the ‘none is too many’ vessel looking for new home

More on the Libeskind Wheel of Conscience, ironically a refugee given the Canadian Museum of Immigration doesn’t want it:

But both [Museum CEO Marie] Chapman and Shimon Fogel, CEO of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, said that despite the Libeskind design being chosen democratically by a selection committee, the museum location might never have been ideal.

They note the original space chosen to display it meant the back part of the monument — where the names of ship passengers are inscribed — was inaccessible to the public, that it has needed repairs more than once and that it had to be unplugged when it started producing a foul-smelling black substance.

“Where the process failed was in ensuring that some feasibility study was done about this kind of an exhibit, given the parameters or the constraints of the geographic location that it was proposed for,” Fogel said.

Fogel said possible locations include the newly opened Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg and the site of the future National Holocaust Monument in Ottawa.

Builder Darius Mosun, who said his company wants to be left out of the controversy, confirmed Monday the monument has been “continuously running up until now with no problems whatsoever” since it was repaired this summer and added that no one has come to inspect it.

Halifax monument to the ‘none is too many’ vessel looking for new home | Toronto Star.