The Thorney Island Society – the civic society for the area around Westminster and Parliament Square are campaigning to stop the building of the Holocaust Memorial and underground Learning Centre in Victoria Tower Gardens. Here they explain the reasons for their opposition.
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The Thorney Island Society, together with the Save Victoria Tower Gardens Campaign are concerned by the threat to this small park caused by the decision of the Government and the UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation (UKHMF) to build a Holocaust Memorial and underground Learning Centre in the park. The Government has pledged £50m.
UKHMF maintains that this ‘location next to Parliament was felt to be exceptionally fitting for the wider mission of the underground education centre’. However, this seems to have been felt only recently – the plan announced by David Cameron in January 2016 was for a monument to be built in Victoria Tower Gardens with the Learning Centre built elsewhere. An early suggestion for the site of both elements was the Imperial War Museum, which has its own excellent Holocaust Galleries, soon to be renovated and expanded. For some reason this perfect-sounding partnership fell through. The choice to build in the park was therefore by default and there will now be two major Holocaust exhibitions less than a mile apart!