Synagogue restorations garner awards in Poland


(JTA) — Restoration projects on two synagogues in Poland have garnered awards.

The mainly European Union-funded restoration of the twin-towered synagogue in Ostrow Wielkopolski in south-central Poland was awarded the top prize in the fourth edition of the Facade of the Year contest, the Polish news agency PAP reported Wednesday.

Earlier this month, The Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland won the 2011 Conservation Laurel for the recently completed restoration of the Renaissance synagogue in the town of Zamosc. The annual award is granted by the regional authorities and monuments conservator in eastern Poland’s Lubelskie Region, where Zamosc is located.

The synagogue in Ostrow Wielkopolski, built in the late 1850s, was designed by the German-Jewish architect Moritz Lande. It will be used by the city as a cultural venue for concerts, exhibitions and theatrical performances.

The $2.1 million restoration project was financed primarily by the European Union, in cooperation with the municipality. The city obtained ownership of the building in 2006, when it paid about $75,000 to the Jewish community of Wroclaw in exchange for the community withdrawing its claim on the building and for the city to create memorials at the sites of the town’s two destroyed Jewish cemeteries.

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