We're happy to report that the fund-raising campaign to finance urgent repairs to the inner cupola of the grand synagogue in Florence has more than reached its goal.
The campaign raised some €35,000 from more than 80 individual or institutional donors in only 17 days -- between Dec. 3 and Dec. 20, according to Renzo Funaro, head of the Opera del Tempio -- the body that oversees the repair, maintenance, and restoration of the synagogue and some other Jewish heritage sites in Tuscany -- and Florence Jewish Community president Daniela Misul.
In addition, they said, the Foundation of the bank Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze has allocated a further €30,000.
The fund-raising goal had been €50,000, with €20,000 needed by Dec. 20 in order to guarantee that work could commence.
Funaro and Misul said works will begin "as soon as possible" in January. During the repair work, the central part of the synagogue will be closed.
The appeal was launched after a precautionary inspection of the cupola, using a drone, was undertaken following a tragic incident in October when a Spanish tourist at the 13th-century Basilica of Santa Croce was killed by a piece of stone pedestal that detached and fell 30 meters to hit him.
Funaro emphasized at the time that no such danger presented itself at the synagogue, which was build in Moorish style and inaugurated in 1882. However, the examination revealed that there was a possibility that pieces of wood and other material could detach from the inner cupola.