The 19th century synagogue in Verdun, France is undergoing a full restoration, including repair of the walls, facades, and roof, as well as the interior spaces. In a project highlighted by the Fondation du Patrimoine, work began in October 2020 and is due to be completed by September 2021.
The building, which is owned by the Jewish community and listed as a historic monument, was threatened by water infiltration to the point where it had to be closed to the public.
According to the firm Grégoire André, which specializes in historic restoration and is carrying out the work, issues also involve the general ageing of the structure and bacterial contamination as well as mosses and lichens on the exterior.
A video posted in February by the Fondation du Patrimoine, shows details of the synagogue before work commenced, and the structure covered in scaffolding as the work progresses. Experts (in French) describe the process:
The synagogue, with its distinctive striped facade, was designed in what is described as “Hispano-Moorish” style by the architect Henri Mazillier and built between 1872 and 1875, to replace an earlier synagogue that had been almost totally destroyed during the Franco-German war of 1870.
It was desecrated by the Germans in World War II and was restored after the war, according to the city’s web site, with the help of Jewish members of the United States Army. Further restoration took place in the 1990s.