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First Jewish Museum Opens In Moscow

The new Jewish Museum in Moscow
MOSCOW -- The first Jewish Museum in Moscow has officially been opened, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

The museum, which is privately funded, is reportedly the first of its kind in Russia. It opened on May 18.

Museum founder Sergei Ustinov, the vice president of Russia's Jewish Congress, told RFE/RL that some of the exhibits were bought by individuals and some of them were donated to the museum.

The oldest items in the exhibits -- some of which were bought at auctions abroad -- are from the 18th century.

Ustinov said professors and experts from the University of Jerusalem assisted the museum founders with consultations on the exhibits and their importance.

Russia had an estimated 5.19 million Jews in 1897, about 4 percent of the total population, according to the official census. In 2002 there were some 265,000, about 0.16 percent of the people living in Russia. About 1 million Russian Jews live in Israel.

Read more in Russian here