Continua l’opera di valorizzazione del patrimonio della cultura ebraica veneziana, promossa da Venetian Heritage, organismo non profit per la salvaguardia della città lagunare, fondato nel 1999 a New York. Il primo capitolo è stato, nel 2012, il restauro degli antichi argenti del Ghetto (oggetti di culto realizzati tra XVIII e XX secolo), messi in salvo durante la seconda guerra mondiale da due signori che non fecero più ritorno dai campi di sterminio. I preziosi furono nascosti nell’intercapedine di una parete della Scuola Spagnola. Ora l’obbiettivo più importante di Venetian Heritage è raccogliere, entro il 2016 (anno in cui si celebreranno i 500 anni del Ghetto, simbolo della presenza della Comunità in Venezia, accolta in seno alla Repubblica secondo speciali leggi che ne regolavano la permanenza) quei 12 milioni di dollari (9,6 milioni di euro) che devono servire al restauro del museo ebraico e delle tre sinagoghe. Restauro che rientra nei programmi sovrintesi dall’Unesco, e anche della Soprintendenza sotto la direzione di Renata Codello. La mostra itinerante degli argenti ha toccato New York, Houston e da ieri si è inaugurata è a Perth, alla Art Gallery of Western Australia, dove rimarrà aperta fino al 16 marzo 2015.
In 1943 a number of precious silver and bronze objects dating from the 1700s to early 1900s were hidden from the approaching Nazi armies by two Venetian Jewish religious leaders who never returned from the concentration camps. These valuables, which represent traditional Venetian Jewish silversmithing and bronze-casting methods, were forgotten until they were unearthed during the restoration of the Scuola Spagnola (or Ponentina) in the Venetian ghetto a few years ago, and a selection from this collection are on display at AGWA.
Over the centuries, Venice was considered a hub of Jewish culture, with its residents playing a valuable role in the city’s economy from the time of the Renaissance. In 1516, the Venetian Senate segregated Jews in a six-acre area that housed several thousand people and five synagogues, at the site of a former foundry (geto). To mark the 500th anniversary of the Jewish Ghetto of Venice the international organisation Venetian Heritage, in cooperation with Maison Vhernier, has organised for these objects to be restored and displayed in an exhibition titled Treasures of the Jewish Ghetto of Venice. Recently presented at the Winter Palace in Vienna, the exhibition has also been seen in New York, Houston and Venice.
Venetian Heritage Council’s Chairmen and President/CEO of Thor Equities Joseph Sitt and VHC Vice Chairmen Diane von Furstenberg, who are leading the international fundraising efforts, unveiled the $12 million innovative design and architectural. Specifically, the $12 million undertaking will repair and reinforce walls and structures through the entire building, restore gilded wooded panels bearing carved biblical features, and fix numerous adornments and design elements that have suffered the weight of a half-millennium.“This is a project long overdue and hugely important to European and Jewish identity. There are 500 years of cultural and religious importance residing within this community and it’s imperative that we revive and revitalize it,” said Joseph Sitt. “As much as this renovation is about preserving the past and the rich history of the Venetian and Jewish communities, today is about the future. All of us are responsible for making sure that future generations – 500 years from today – have access to these stories of human culture and progress,” said Diane von Furstenberg. “In addition to the structural revitalization of the synagogues, we are vastly improving and upgrading the museum space, adding space and streamlining room-to-room flow to accommodate the incredible interest in this piece of history. This is a huge component of European culture and it can’t be ignored,” Venetian Heritage Council Director Toto Bergamo Rossi added.