The ceremony will mark the official start of on-site preparations for the construction of the 3000m2 museum, which will stand to remember and teach about life in what was a predominantly Jewish area – before local populations were decimated by the Holocaust.
The Šeduva Jewish Memorial Fund, which is the driving force behind the unique memorial complex, had previously restored the historical Jewish cemetery at the site, which received a Special Mention from the jury of the European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage in 2017. According to the Šeduva Jewish Memorial Fund, it intended ‘to build a modern, state-of-theart world-class museum to commemorate extinguished Litvak shtetl community history’.
In its original design, The Lost Shtetl museum is a modern abstraction of the traditional pitchedroof houses that made up the Eastern European local Jewish villages, known as shtetls. Each ‘house’ within The Lost Shtetl will have a distinct function, including exhibitions, galleries, learning and archiving facilities, and administration space.
From roof to walls, the entire outside of the buildings will be clad in metal tiles that reference to the wooden shingles of the traditional shtetl houses. The participation of the entire leadership of Lithuania at the ground-breaking ceremony for The Lost Shtetl Museum building demonstrates the significance with which Lithuania and the European Union relates to the new project.
More than 96% of the once-large Jewish population of Lithuania (250 000, 10% of the Lithuanian population) was exterminated during Holocaust – a tragic record amongst all the countries which fell victim to the Second World War.
One of the prime goals of the project is to restore the memory of the lost people and their rich culture that was systematically exterminated. The appreciation of this significance can be seen among all participants of this unique international project in which Lahdelma & Mahlamäki is a proud principal partner. Source by Lahdelma & Mahlamäki Architects.
- Location: Šeduva, Lithuania
- Architect: Lahdelma & Mahlamäki Architects
- Programme: Museum, multi-purpose hall, administration spaces
- Year: 2018
- Images: Courtesy of Lahdelma & Mahlamäki Architects
Article by Marco Rinaldi