AMSTERDAM (JTA) — A Dutch court rejected objections to the planned construction of a massive monument for Holocaust victims at what used to be the Jewish quarter of the kingdom’s capital.
The administrative court in Amsterdam on Tuesday ruled against an petition for an injunction against the plan by several residents from the area, the Hart Van Nederland website reported.
The project, which will cost several million dollars, near Amsterdam’s Weesper Street features a metal labyrinth designed by the renowned American architect Daniel Libeskind. Its 9-foot metal walls bear the names of approximately 102,000 victims.
Last year, newspapers published a petition signed by 54 locals, including some Jews, who oppose the plan. They insist it will mean “the disappearance of the already scarce greenery” from the street that the city set aside for the monument. The critics, some of whom filed the appeal, say they favor commemorating the Holocaust in principle, but the city has not consulted them and others on the design.
Jacques Grishaver, chairman of the Dutch Auschwitz Committee and the monument’s initiator, argued the issue goes far deeper than a dispute over local land use.
“Residents living in houses where my family used to live don’t wish to see a monument commemorating them. They want to erase their names,” he said in a speech last year.
Esther Voet, the editor-in-chief of the NIW Dutch Jewish weekly, on Tuesday congratulated Grishaver, who has for years led the project amid opposition.
“”The small, abject ‘not-in-my-backyard’ club has lost,” she tweeted.
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