Gehry Pulls Out of Jerusalem Museum

Frank Gehry is no longer helping foster peace in the Middle East: The architect announced he's pulling out of building a Museum of Tolerance in Jerusalem. After years of planning, protests, and legal battles, the building that was set to sit on a plot that was once part of an ancient Muslim cemetery may now never be erected. The Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Museum of Tolerance opened its doors in L.A. in 1993, but the $250 million Jerusalem incarnation met many obstacles since its inception in 2004. Worried that the museum would desecrate the holy Mamilla Cemetery, Israel’s Islamic Movement leader petitioned the country’s supreme court to prevent its construction. Though the court gave the building the green light in November 2008, Israeli scholars and religious leaders still opposed it. Jerusalem’s Museum of Tolerance now waits in limbo, but was originally designed by the stereotypically futuristic Gehry, consisting of titanium, glass, and stone. Time will tell whether the building or its sentiment will become a reality.