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Jewish group says UNESCO exhibit salvaged

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January 23, 2014 08:15 AM EST | AP


JERUSALEM (AP) — The head of a Jewish American organization says he has finalized a deal with the U.N. cultural agency to stage an exhibit about the Jewish connection to the Holy Land, days after Arab objections nearly derailed the project.

Last week, UNESCO abruptly announced it was delaying the exhibit after 22 Arab member states said it could disrupt Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center, which co-sponsored the exhibit, protested the decision. UNESCO subsequently said it would open the exhibit in June, pending final discussions with the center.

Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder and dean of the center, said Thursday all arrangements were complete.

Hier says the development is a "victory against the 22 Arab states." He says the exhibit was not political but "simply a collective narrative of the Jewish people."