The Palestinian Museum is a flagship project of the Welfare Association, a non-profit organization for developing humanitarian projects in Palestine.
The idea of developing a museum was initiated in 1997 by the London-based Welfare Association to commemorate the Nakba, and later developed to a broader viewpoint to documenting
Palestinian history, society, art and culture from the beginning of the 19th century.
“It is not necessarily to start or stop at the Nakba, But nevertheless to look at Palestinians before that and after that … take that history and that memory as a means to reflect on what’s happening today and as a way to think through ideas, concepts and propositions for the future.” Jack Persekian, former director of the Palestinian Museum.
The Palestinian Museum project aims to be an innovative venue for creating and communicating research, knowledge and new thinking about showcasing Palestinian society,art, history and culture. In May 2015 the museum officially joined the International Council of Museums.
The Palestinian Museum was conceived as an institution capable of transcending political and geographical borders, and as such it aims to resist the restrictions to mobility imposed by the Israeli occupation and overcome the divisions currently threatening its body politic. Through local, regional and international partnerships and affiliate centers, the Museum will connect Palestinians from all over the world, and thus bring together a people that has been fragmented for decades. An extensive network of partnerships within historic Palestine will also allow it to act as a hub for cultural activity there. In this sense, it is one among a number of cultural projects aiming to resist the ghettoization and fragmentation of the Palestinian people.
The museum building is estimated to cover an area nearly 10-acre donated by Birzeit University, near Ramallah and it is projected to cost around $19 million, the architecture of the building is designed by Heneghan Peng, the architects behind the Grand Egyptian Museum. It aims to bring together a mix of exhibitions spaces, research, and education programmes. Through its digital platforms and international partners, the Museum aims also to connect with about 10 million Palestinians scattered around the world and with all those interested in Palestine.
The Palestinian Museum director, Jack Persekian speaking about connecting with “invisible public” through the construction of online archives.