BIR ZEIT (AFP).- Palestinian officials on Thursday joined a ceremony to lay the cornerstone for a new museum of Palestinian culture, history and society in Bir Zeit near Ramallah.
Organisers said the museum would provide Palestinians with "a valuable source of information on Palestine and its history".
The museum is to be constructed in two phases, the first of which is slated for completion by the end of 2014. It is expected to cost some $20 million (15.2 million euros).
"The museum will not only be for Palestinians but will reach out to the whole world through an advanced digital network," project manager Omar al-Qattan said as ground was broken on the new venture.
"It will be more than a traditional building with archaeological relics. We are looking at an institution that will transcend all boundaries -- geographical and political," he added.
Palestinian culture minister Siham Barghuti hailed the start of work on the museum.
"This museum is a great achievement for the Palestinian people," she said.
"The link between memory and everything related to it, to Palestinian history, and to having digital contact with Palestinians everywhere constitutes an important step," she added.
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