Madrid, October 26th The exhibition “Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far away.” will open to the public at the Arte Canal Exhibition Center in Madrid on Dec. 1, where it will remain until June 17, 2018. This will be the international debut of the exhibition, which will then visit six more cities in Europe and seven in North America. Madrid will be its only destination in Spain.
The exhibition will display over 600 original objects, most of them belonging to the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum collections, and will spread over 2,500 square meters of the iconic Arte Canal exhibition venue. Many of these artifacts are presented for the first time to the public, after undertaking a painstaking process of conservation.
The aim of this meticulous and poignant exhibition is to discover the complex reality of the Nazi German concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz-Birkenau within its historical context, as well as to examine how such a place could come to exist and the terrible historical and human consequences derived from the Holocaust.
Tickets to visit the exhibition are now available on the website www.auschwitz.net at a special price of 7 euros until Nov. 23. The visit includes the use of an audio tour.
The exhibition, conceived and designed by Musealia and its international curatorial team of experts led by historian Dr. Robert Jan van Pelt, is an unprecedented collaboration with the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, its curators, conservators, archivists and the Research Center headed by Dr. Piotr Setkiewicz.
This coproduction represents an unparalleled international effort that will count on special cooperation between the Canal De Isabel II and the Community of Madrid during its presentation in Spain.
Furthermore, over 20 institutions, museums and private collectors from different countries have collaborated on the project.
The exhibition will open to the public on Dec. 1 and will remain in the Spanish capital until June 17, 2018.
The admission fees will range between 7 euros and 12,50 euros, depending on the day and category applied.
School groups will enjoy free access to the exhibition due to the collaboration between Canal de Isabel II, hosting partner of the exhibition in Madrid, and Musealia. Both entities will subsidize the free visit with the intention of increasing knowledge of history and emphasizing the importance of the defense of human rights and an overall respect for diversity.
Tickets for the general public can now be found for sale on www.auschwitz.net, with a special discount of over 40% on the general rate.
The exhibition will display over 600 original objects, the majority belonging to the collection of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum.
Among these items will be an original German-made Model 2 freight wagon, of the type used by the Deutsche Reichsbahn (German National Railway) during World War II for the transport of soldiers, prisoners of war, and the deportation of Jews to the ghettos and extermination camps in occupied Poland. Visitors will also be able to see an original barrack from Auschwitz III-Monowitz, personal belongings from the victims and perpetrators, structural elements from the camp and, among other unique items, unpublished documents and audio-visual materials.
These unique objects will cover the main topics of the history of Auschwitz, as well as all the victim groups in the camp: Jews deported for extermination, Poles, Sinti and Roma and Soviet prisoners of war. In addition, some items will also depict the world of the perpetrators – SS men who created and operated the largest of the German Nazi camps.
Over 1.1 million people were killed at Auschwitz by the German Nazis. It happened in the heart of Europe, at the core of the most technologically-advanced society of its time, not long ago and not far away from where we stand today. Therefore, remembering and keeping in mind the largest genocide perpetrated in the 20th century is an imperative for the education of our future generations.
The director of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum Dr. Piotr M. A. Cywiński said, “Today, the world is moving in uncertain directions. That is why we need to rely more and more on the strong foundations of our memory. Auschwitz and the tragedy of the Shoah are part of those foundations, which cannot be bypassed in creating a new face of the world. Nothing can replace a visit to the authentic site of the biggest crime of the 20th century, but this exhibition, which people in many countries will have the opportunity to see, can become a great warning cry for us all.”
The Director of the Exhibition Project, Luis Ferreiro (Musealia), said, “Hatred, racism, antisemitism and intolerance are, unfortunately, concepts we still have to face nowadays. Therefore, it is of vital importance to remember the road that led to Auschwitz and the consequences it had.”
Musealia is a Spanish company dedicated to creating high-quality traveling exhibitions for museums and cultural centers throughout the world. With more than 15 years of experience, its exhibits are distinguished by their sense of emotion, as well as their strong narrative character. Musealia has worked with more than 40 museums and institutions worldwide, and over 2 million people have visited its most popular exhibition.
Arte Canal is located in a privileged place in Madrid, both for being strategically placed in Plaza de Castilla, and because of its interior, built in one of the compartments of the Cuarto Depósito, a cistern of the Canal de Isabel II company. Pharaonic Egypt, Alexander the Great, Rome, Cleopatra, the Xi’An Warriors, Pompeii, Star Wars, the work of M.C. Escher and Leonardo da Vinci are only some of the subjects to which the centre has devoted exhibitions from its opening in 2004. More than three million people have visited it since then.
Its almost 2,500 square meters of exhibition space make Arte Canal one of the largest showrooms for temporal exhibitions both in Spain and in Europe. The room takes up half of a compartment in which the four cisterns of the Canal de Isabel II are divided, a structure from the first half of the 20th century with a capacity of 141,000 cubic meters. Its refurbishment was made with the utmost respect for the original building, similar to the old Roman and Arab cisterns.
Auschwitz is not only a memorial site. It is also a significant element for our civilization. The word Auschwitz has become a distinctive cultural symbol, a synonym of the greatest fall of the human system of values. The authenticity of the Memorial is increasing with the departure of the last witnesses from this world.
The Museum, located on the premises of the former Nazi German camp, was established thanks to the efforts of former prisoners in 1947. Its objective is to preserve the remains of the former camp, commemorate the victims and organize scientific and educational activities.
The Memorial occupies an area of almost 200 hectares, more than 150 buildings and about 300 ruins, including remains of the gas chambers and crematoria blown up by the German Nazis. It also includes collections, archives and the world’s most extensive collection of works of art dedicated to Auschwitz (approximately six thousand works).
Currently, over 2 million people visit the camp and its exhibitions each year.
Will this exhibition come to Lisbon, Portugal?
Dear Paula. Next destinations will be announced in the upcoming months.