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April 24, 2023

Mural to be added to Philly's Holocaust memorial on the Ben Franklin Parkway

The 2,500-square-foot artwork, expected to be completed in 2024, will send messages of resilience, hope and unity

Arts & Culture Murals
Philly Holocaust mural Albert Lee/Philadelphia Holocaust Remembrance Foundation

Plans are underway for a 2,500-square-foot mural dedicated to the Holocaust at the Horwitz-Wasserman Memorial Plaza on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

An historic mural soon will serve as the backdrop to the Holocaust memorial on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. 

Plans are underway for a 2,500-square-foot mural at the Horwitz-Wasserman Memorial Plaza, which opened at 1619 Arch St. in 2018. The artwork, expected to be complete in late 2024, will be the first large-scale, publicly-commissioned mural dedicated to the Holocaust.

Horwitz-Wasserman Memorial Plaza, houses the "Monument to Six Million Jewish Martyrs." The new mural will serve as the backdrop to the bronze monument, which was built by Nathan Rapoport and installed in 1964 as the first free, public dedication to the Holocaust in the U.S. 

The Philadelphia Holocaust Remembrance Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to educating the public about the Holocaust, and Mural Arts Philadelphia, the nation's largest public art program, are behind the new mural, which will depict themes of the Holocaust while sending messages of resilience, hope and unity.

"At a time when access to our Holocaust survivor community dwindles, and public knowledge of this tragedy remains alarmingly poor, efforts to advance Holocaust education and remembrance across the country are more crucial than ever before," Eszter Kutas, executive director of the PHRF, said in a release. "We're proud to be addressing this issue in a big, bold way that sends a strong and positive message to the community while adding to the vibrant public art on display throughout the city."

Artists interested in designing the mural can submit applications beginning Tuesday, May 2. A judging committee will consider their proposed designs and messages. The committee will look for artists with diverse perspectives and connections to the Holocaust, such as familial ties to Holocaust survivors or Allied soldiers.

The application process will end in the summer, and an artist or team of artists will be selected in the fall.

PHRF and Mural Arts also are hosting a public discussion about contemporary art and the Holocaust on Tuesday, May from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Friends Select School, 1651 Benjamin Franklin Parkway. The free discussion will be hosted by Marty Moss-Coane of WHYY and James Young, a scholar of Holocaust art and memorials. 

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