A team of international museum professionals and architects are at work on Jewish history for the Šeduva museum which will employ the latest technologies to teach visitors about the history and culture of similar Litvak shtetls. The planned floor space for the museum is 2,700 square meters.
The museum, slated to open in 2019, will be part of the Lost Shtetl memorial complex in and around the small town of Šeduva, Lithuania. It will be located across the road from the town’s restored Jewish cemetery, which is part of the complex.
The Lost Shtetl museum will tell the story of the life of what was once the largest European Litvak Jewish population living in shtetls. Lifestyle, customs, religion and the social, professional and family life of the Jews of Šeduva will serve as the centerpiece of the museum exhibition. Museum visitors will be taught the tragedy of Šeduva’s Jewish history, which ended in three pits near the shtetl in the early days of World War II, concluding five centuries of the history of the Jews of Šeduva.
The creators of the museum are the internationally recognized professionals doing the interior design for the Lost Shtetl and providing consulting services, New York-based Ralph Applebaum Associates, who have received numerous awards for outstanding museums and memorials. Their portfolio includes more than 700 memorials and museums, among them the Washington, D. C., US Holocaust Museum, the Holocaust Museum in Houston, the Royal Albert Memorial Museum in London, and many more.
The curator of the main exhibition of the Lost Shtetl is Milda Jakulytė-Vasil, the main author of the Lithuanian Holocaust Atlas. Jakulytė-Vasil is aided by twelve international consultants from Israel, Germany, the US and Poland. Mrs. Barbara Kirshenvlatt-Gimblette, chief curator of the core exhibition at the celebrated POLIN Museum of the History of the Jews of Poland in Warsaw, is among her advisors.
Finnish company Lahdelma & Mahlamäki Architects are designing the architecture of the Lost Shtetl Museum. This world-renowned architectural company is responsible for impressive museums and fair grounds worldwide. The POLIN Museum was designed by Lahdelma & Mahlamäki and received the prestigious European Museum Award for 2016.
The Finnish firm’s partner in Lithuania is Studija2A, established in 1994 and directed by Vilnius Art Academy dean of architect Jonas Audejaitis. Audejaitis also serves as professor at the Kaunas branch of the Vilnius Art Academy.
Swiss-based ECAS AG is in charge of overseeing construction. The company is a member of Royal International Chartered Surveyors, leaders among construction professionals and real estate. RICS are known for their high ethical and professional standards worldwide.