Frank Gehry Dodges a Bad Press Bullet as Construction Begins on Museum of Tolerance in Jerusalem

Wherever Frank Gehry is right now (undersea cave? Zaha Hadid’s spacecraft?), he’s probably thanking the heavens that he resigned from the long-troubled Museum of Tolerance project in Jerusalem when he did. After years of debate whether or not the structure should be built on land that was formerly an ancient Muslim cemetery, with groups forming alliances to try and block it out of concern that the construction would damage the buried human remains, the go ahead was finally given to build the museum and guess what happened? News has come out that the excavators working on the preliminary processes of construction have exhumed more than a thousand skeletons and along the way have severely damaged numerous remains. The AP reports that the Israeli groups responsible for removing the bodies have said they’ve not damaged a thing and that the remains were treated with utmost respect, but the Jerusalem paper Haaretz has published a particularly damning account (along with photos) that claim the contrary, with quotes from the workers saying they were careful at first, but then were encouraged to rush through the process, with little concern for what they found beneath the surface. Whatever the case, it’s not the best press, and like we said before, Gehry must be happy his name isn’t being associated with any of it.

Publish date: May 20, 2010 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT