The new museum, established in Sakhnin, an Israeli-Arab city in the lower Galilee, will open in December with a collection of around 2,000 items of Palestinian Arab heritage and about 200 contemporary art works. The new museum was created by the Romanian artist Belu-Simion Fainaru, who lives part of the year in Israel, and Avital Bar-Shay (Israeli architect and designer) together with the Sakhnin municipality and mayor Mazin G'Nayem and the Arab Museum of Contemporary Art and Heritage (AMOCAH) in Sakhnin.
The initiative wants to promote the dialogue and the cooperation between the artists of the two parties and spread a positive message after the recent tensions between Arabs and Jews following the military "Operation Protective Edge".
The Israeli daily Haaretz reports that the first exhibition will be entitled “Hiwar,” the Arabic word for “dialogue," presenting items of Palestinian heritage alongside works of famous contemporary artists like Marina Abramović, Jannis Kounellis, Christian Boltansky, Johannes Vogel.
"During the military operation, the atmosphere in Sakhnin was tense, and there were demonstrations,” Fainaru said. “But now, people are waiting for something different, cheering and positive in Sakhnin too. That’s the significance of opening the museum. We come as Jews and cooperate with the people who live here, and seek to create artistic cooperation between Jews and Arabs".