The Jerusalem District Planning and Construction Committee approved on Monday the construction of a new visitors’ center at the City of David National Park in Silwan.
As part of this decision, Israel Nature and Parks Authority representatives this morning razed a complex built by Silwan residents that included a playground, community center and cafe.
The new visitors’ center is to be built above the Givati parking lot and will be called the Mercaz Kedem (Kedem Center). The building will be built on stilts and beneath it there will be an area where visitors can view recently discovered archeological findings. The Elad organization promoted the plan and it obtained the support of Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, who appeared before the district committee earlier today to voice his support.
The Israel Antiquities Authority’s Jerusalem District director, Dr. Yuval Baruch, also expressed support for the plan, despite the presence of archeological findings under the building. “This is one of the most important projects in Jerusalem in recent generations. It would be impossible to find a serious archeologist with a bad word to say about the conduct of the excavations,” said Baruch. “The building as it stands is approved by the Israel Antiquities Authority and was presented to the authority in dozens of meetings.
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