Educational seminars on the restoration of the Synagogue in Subotica held

The Expert Seminar and the On Site Seminar for Young Professionals on the conservation of the Synagogue in Subotica, Serbia listed among ‘The 7 Most Endangered’ heritage sites in Europe in 2014, took place from 19-24 November 2015, within the ‘Heritage under the Loupe’ project. This project is a follow up of ‘The 7 Most Endangered’ program, aiming to offer a series of education and professional development opportunities in the field of heritage restoration and management around the Synagogue in Subotica, one of the finest examples of Art Nouveau in Southeast Europe. Throughout next year, the Synagogue will provide excellent learning opportunities for experienced and young professionals because the complexities of the restoration project and the future use pose numerous technical and management challenges.

Synagogue in Subotica, SERBIA
The Expert Seminar held on 20 November gathered a mix of international and local experts, particularly ones who have been officially working on the restoration of the Synagogue in Subotica since the 1980s. Apart from presentations of chronology and conservation philosophy of works on the Synagogue, the experts discussed and exchanged views on the most challenging parts of the restoration project –the leaking roof in different areas, the steel corrosion on columns from capillary water, the restoration of old elements on facades and interior, and the use of materials.

The On Site Seminar held from 21-24 November was addressed to young experts, postgraduate students, and students in their final years of study in the fields of conservation, engineering, architecture and other areas related to heritage management and protection from Serbia and the Balkans. The main goal of this seminar was to introduce principles, methods and techniques of assessment, conservation and restoration of Art Nouveau monuments and to offer onsite analytic discussions on the solutions for the restoration of the Synagogue. The seminar was attended by lecturers and trainers, both local experts dedicated to restoration of Synagogue and international experts, engineers and conservation architects.

The project ‘Heritage under the Loupe’ is being carried out from October 2015 to the summer of 2016. It comprises of a practical four-day workshop on conservation in Subotica for professionals and postgraduate students (25 participants); a Master Class/discussion related to the restoration of the Synagogue for professionals, which will have a report with observations and recommendations as a final result; a study trip to Budapest in January aimed at professionals from Subotica and other Serbian cities, with the theme of cultural heritage management; and a course within studies of cultural heritage protection at the Faculty for Civil Engineering in Subotica in the summer semester, where the case study throughout the whole semester will be the Subotica Synagogue.

The project is run by Europa Nostra Serbia, in partnership with the Cultural Heritage without Borders, the City of Subotica, the Municipal Institute for Heritage Protection in Subotica, the Faculty of Civil Engineering Subotica, the State Institute for Heritage Protection of Republic of Serbia, the City Museum of Subotica and the North England Civic Trust. The entirety of the project has been financially supported by the Headley Trust.

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