COLOGNE, Germany - This city in western Germany is banking its future on its Jewish past. But at present, the investment is exacting a heavy price: $52 million, to be exact.
Following a divisive decades-long battle, Cologne's municipal government voted recently to allocate that sum toward the construction of a new museum focused on the city's medieval Jewish quarter. Its centerpiece will be the product of a massive excavation project that began in 2007 in the middle of the city, on the square in front of City Hall.
For years the project had been dogged by opponents who said the country didn’t need another monument dedicated to the Jewish past or complained about the disruption that the project would create in Cologne, Germany’s fourth-largest city.
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