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Zanis Lipke Memorial Museum, Kipsala, Latvia

Tuesday 03 Jul 2012

A fitting tribute

images © Ansis Starks 
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Award Entry

Zaigas Gailes's museum pays homage to one man and his shed 

Maza Balasta street 8 in Kipsala is a place where Zanis Lipke saved lives of  57 jews during the World War II hiding them in a pit under a shed. The memorial building is the Black Shed - a symbolical shed under which people were hidden and saved. The image of the building is inspired by old fishermen's pitch black sheds characteristic to Kipsala island. Image of the museum ideologically and visually resembles Noah's Ark and inverted boat - both beeing places for shelter.

The territory of the museum is surrounded by solid black wooden fence. Passage through the enclosed tunnel that begins by the large entrance gate bears no suggestion of the real scale and structure of the building and it takes a while for the visitor to locate its centre with the hidden bunker under the ground.

The visitors are emotionally directed along the pathways within the shed, then they ascend to the attic and arrive at the well through which one can see the pit in the basement, designed 3x3x3 metres wide with wooden plank beds resembling the room of the historic bunker. The attic is the main exhibition hall of the museum.

Through the  roof sparse sun beams enter the dusky room from the desired freedom outside. On the ground floor there is another detour around the bunker. A sukkah is built above the bunker - a symbolic jewish divine temporary shelter from the cruel world, the desired home with painted transparent paper walls and small windows.

Building of the memorial is funded by donations raised by society  "Zanis Lipke Memorial".

Key Facts

Status Completed
Value 0(m€)
Were you involved in this scheme?
Zaigas Gailes birojs, Ltd

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