Even at the age of 88, Shimon Peres is unstoppable. The Israeli president has begun promoting a new vision: An Albert Einstein museum in Yerushalayim, which will be shaped as the Jewish-German scientist’s head.
According to the plan, the museum will display the entire bequest of the theoretical physicist who developed the theory of general relativity, including his writings, inventions, clothes, study, telescope and even a mold of his teeth.
The first person to come up with the idea to build the Einstein museum in Jerusalem was Cabinet Secretary Zvi Hauser, who thought the museum should be shaped as the scientist’s brain. Peres fell for the idea, but came up with a design of his own.
On Wednesday he presented the plan to the heads of the Hebrew University, which possesses Einstein’s bequest, and the President’s Residence staff. They were all affected by his enthusiasm and will start looking for a place for the museum as early as next week.
Peres sees a huge museum, which will serve as a global tourist attraction. “Albert Einstein is the most famous Jew in history since Moses,” he said during the meeting. “Israel must serve as a center of attraction for both creativity and wisdom, and Einstein possesses these two elements.
“Every single tourist arriving in Israel will want to visit the museum, if only we can get it started.”
The Hebrew University representatives told the president they had 45,000 documents, drafts, books and items belonging to the scientist. University President Prof. Menachem Ben-Sasson said that his institution was “very interesting in being part of this project.”
Former Shin Bet Director Carmi Gillon, the university’s vice president of external relations, said Wednesday: “We have a large treasure, which includes all of the original writings of Einstein, who was the university’s founding father, and many of his items – the drafts he wrote about the theory of general relativity, his letters, clothes and a lot more.
“At the moment, these items are accessible to the public only through pre-coordination and very randomly.”
Hauser promised that the Prime Minister’s Office will take part in the project, noting that it matched the government’s policy to develop and strengthen Jerusalem and promote heritage sites.
The meeting at the President’s Residence concluded with the appointment of a steering committee for the museum, which includes Hauser, Gillon and the President’s Residence Director-General Efrat Duvdevani. Peres asked to receive the first plans for the museum within a week.