The first stage of the government-funded $4 million restoration of the magnificent Neolog synagogue in Szeged, Hungary is under way, with urgent conservation being carried out to prevent the synagogue from having to close its doors.
According to the web site Hungary Today, András Lednitzky, leader of Szeged’s Jewish community, told the state news agency MTI that the second phase of renovation is planned to include “the reconstruction of the building’s interiors to repair damage caused by the leaking roof, falling plaster and the aging structure of the building.”
He said “beams are decaying, ornamental towers have fallen down and pigeons have caused damage in the synagogue’s cupola.”
The government announced last fall that it had allocated some one billion forints ($4 million) for much-needed repairs on the building, inaugurated in 1903 and the masterpiece of the prolific synagogue architect Lipot Baumhorn. A bas relief carving of the dome of the Szeged synagogue decorates the upper portion of Baumhorn’s gravestone in Budapest’s Kozma utca Jewish cemetery.
Restoration work is to be completed in 2017.