JERUSALEM—The Simon Wiesenthal Center today released a statement reaffirming its previously reported opposition to plans to place a $25,000,000 convention and congress center on Vilnius’s old Jewish cemetery at Piramónt (in today’s Šnipiškės). International opposition to the project has been mounting in recent weeks. The text was released by Dr. Efraim Zuroff, director of the Wiesenthal Center’s Israel office and head of its East European Affairs division. The text follows:
The Simon Wiesenthal Center opposes the plan to build a convention and congress center on the area of the old Jewish cemetery in Šnipiškės (Piramónt), Vilna [Vilnius]. We find it impossible to believe that no alternate site could be found in the city for this project, which will not only insult the memory of centuries of Jews buried there, but will serve as a retroactive approval for the initial destruction of the cemetery by the Soviets. In this respect, the current Lithuanian regime which prides itself on its good relations with the local Jewish community, should refrain from making the same mistakes as the Communists did in Lithuania and throughout the Soviet Union.