(JHE) — Renovation work on the monumental synagogue in Turin (Torino) Italy has been completed — and the work was celebrated at Simchas Torah with the dedication of a plaque honoring major donors to the project, including the Compagnia di San Paolo Foundation and two families.
Before the restoration, costs for the work had been estimated at between €60,000 and €100,000.
The renovation saw safety, consolidation, and conservation work on the roof, facade, and interior features that was initiated after fallen debris was discovered in the women’s gallery during Rosh Hashanah 2017. At the end of 2017, debris also fell from exterior cornices, and an inspection of the building found other problems.
On the facade, the renovation work entailed repairing serious cracks and material detachments as well as restoring its decorative elements. The roof required waterproofing as well as cleaning, restoration and repainting of structural elements damaged by serious water seepage. Inside the synagogue, decorative elements, including cracks in plasterwork, were repaired and consolidated.
The synagogue, with a flat facade and four cupola-topped towers, was designed in Moorish/eclectic style by Enrico Petiti and completed in 1894. Bombing in World War II destroyed the interior and left it an empty shell. The great synagogue was totally rebuilt in 1949, and in 1971 the lower ground floor was converted into a new, smaller synagogue, with 17th century baroque furnishings originally from the synagogue of Chieri.
Torino’s Jewish community numbers around 800 people and is the third largest in Italy. This restoration fund-raising video describes the community and outlines the problems that needed repair: