Right in the center of Cologne, a new museum of international standing is currently being built: the MiQua. LVR-Jewish Museum in the Archaeological Quarter Cologne. Its name MiQua can be read short for "Museum im Quartier" and refers to the 6,000 m2 excavation area in Cologne’s Archaeological Quarter, directly beneath the Town Hall Square. Here, in several steps since 1953 over 2000 years of Cologne city history have been revealed, ranging from the palace of the Roman governor, the Praetorium, to the medieval Jewish quarter and the Christian goldsmiths quarter. Above these archaeological monuments, a new museum will be built, which, in addition to a permanent and temporary exhibition area, will provide insights into the archeology of the underground, namely the medieval synagogue and the Jewish ritual bath, the mikveh, which also resonates in the name MiQua.
MiQua. LVR-Jewish Museum in the Archaeological, is one of three archaeological sites in Cologne that are applying for UNESCO World Heritage status for the Lower German Limes in 2020 in a joint project of the Netherlands, North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate. The Praetorium, a unique ground monument from Roman times in the Archaeological Zone on Cologne's Rathausplatz will be a highlight of the future MiQua.
In 2013, the Rhineland Regional Council (LVR) and the City of Cologne concluded a framework agreement for the museum project. The city of Cologne serves as the promoter of the construction and as the owner of the museum as well as the archaeological monuments. The LVR develops the museum’s content as well as the operational concept. Presumably at 2024, the LVR will take over the sponsorship of the museum.
“1700 Years of Jewish Life in Germany” will be celebrated across Germany in 2021 with a range of events, exhibitions and projects. They mark Emperor Constantine’s Decree in 321 on the subject of Jews living in Cologne and the other provinces the Roman Empire, the oldest surviving document confirming the existence of Jewish communities north of the Alps. #2021JLID is a programme of events devoted to Jewish life in Germany that will set its stamp on cultural diaries all over the country. Many public and grass-roots organisations are contributing to this programme. The Regional Council of the Rhineland (LVR) has set up a project family based around MiQua. LVR Jewish Museum in the Archaeological Quarter Cologne and the LVR-KULTURHAUS.
One highlight of the anniversary year 2021 will be the travelling exhibition “People, Pictures, Places – 1700 Years of Jewish Life in Germany” curated by the MiQua team, which will follow an itinerary through Essen, Münster, Cologne, Wesel and Dortmund. Taking Emperor Constantine’s Decree of 321 as its starting point, it will narrate Jewish history and intellectual life in Germany with a geographical focus on the Rhineland and Westphalia.