The synagogue in Pisa, Italy has been rededicated after being closed for eight years during a €1.3 million restoration process.
A gala ceremony and day-long events June 21 marked the occasion. The ceremony was attended by Jewish and civic leaders, including Pisa’s mayor, as well as religious representatives, including the local Imam.
“Today the synagogue complex in Pisa is given back not only to the Jewish community, which after many years can finally use a fundamental space, for more than four centuries at the centre of communal life, but also to the city and society at large, which will be able to take advantage of the many initiatives that will be carried out during the year,” Renzo Gattegna, the president of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities (UCEI) said in his remarks.
Located in a 14th century building that was converted into a synagogue in 1595, the synagogue was totally rebuilt and restructured in the 1860s according to a design by the architect Marco Treves. Its interior, noted for a beautifully ornate ceiling, is hidden behind a plain exterior facade that faces the street.
The synagogue was closed in 2007 because of serious structural damage, including cracks in the ceiling and walls, water damage, and a partial collapse of the roof.
The restoration was 40 percent financed by the state, with the rest of the funds coming from the Pisa Foundation and the Cassa di Risparmio di San Miniato Foundation.
See a video of the restored synagogue: