Middle East

Palestinian history museum opens without exhibits

  • Palestinians visits the Palestinian Museum after it was officially opened to the public in West Bank town of Bir Zeit , Wednesday, May 18, 2016. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

    Palestinians visits the Palestinian Museum after it was officially opened to the public in West Bank town of Bir Zeit , Wednesday, May 18, 2016. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)  (The Associated Press)

  • Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, waves to media during opening the Palestinian Museum to the public in the West Bank town of Bir Zeit , Wednesday, May 18, 2016. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, waves to media during opening the Palestinian Museum to the public in the West Bank town of Bir Zeit , Wednesday, May 18, 2016. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)  (The Associated Press)

  • Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, speaks during the opening of the Palestinian Museum to the public, in West Bank town of Bir Zeit , Wednesday, May 18, 2016. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, speaks during the opening of the Palestinian Museum to the public, in West Bank town of Bir Zeit , Wednesday, May 18, 2016. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)  (The Associated Press)

The Palestinians have opened a dazzling new museum aimed at telling the tale of their history and culture, but the building is devoid of exhibits.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said at the inauguration ceremony Wednesday that it will tell "the whole world that we have been here and we are staying here."

The museum is an important Palestinian symbol of nationalism. But the museum's halls are empty.

Palestinians wanted the opening to coincide with their recent commemorations of "Nakba day," the term they use for the 1948 war that led to the creation of Israel in which they fled or were forced to leave during fighting.

A dispute over creative visions for the opening led to the resignation of the previous museum director just six months ago.