Celebs Give Specs for Holocaust Display

Published January 09, 2008, issue of January 11, 2008.
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The trademark eyeglasses worn by Harry Potter are known worldwide, and now Daniel Radcliffe, the actor who played the boy wizard in the first five movies based on the book series, is giving away a pair of his own specs for a worthy cause. The British actor is donating the first pair of glasses he ever wore, at age 6, to the Respectacles Project, a Holocaust memorial exhibition in Liverpool, England. The city is this year’s host of England’s Yom HaShoah observance.

The exhibit — which runs this month from the 21st through the 26th and includes eyeglasses donated by Yoko Ono, talk show host Jerry Springer and former British prime minister Tony Blair — will display all the pairs of glasses linked together, representing railroad tracks that brought Nazi victims to concentration camps. The idea was inspired by photographs of piles of broken eyeglasses that belonged to people who perished in the camps.

The project is a collaboration of the Liverpool Town Hall and the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, and organizers hope to obtain 110,000 pairs of glasses for the display. After the exhibit closes, the celeb glasses will be auctioned off for charity. Other pairs will be donated to Vision Aid Overseas, an organization that provides used and recycled eyeglasses to people in developing nations.


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