Heritage under the Loupe
The project Heritage under the Loupe is a follow up of the international expert mission to Subotica Synagogue within the “7 Most Endangered” program, run by Europa Nostra and the European Investment Bank, to help the protection of outstanding monuments across Europe, which have for years been deteriorating due to the lack of funding for restoration projects, social neglect, or maltreatment. A project will be realized in the period between October 2015 and summer 2016, with three main segments comprised: a practical workshop on conservation in Subotica for professionals and postgraduate students, lasting for days for 25 participants; Master Class/discussion related to restoration of Synagogue for professionals, which will have a report with observations and recommendations as a final result; study trip to Budapest in January, with a theme of cultural heritage management, where elected professionals from Subotica and other Serbian cities will take part in seminar led by the architect-conservator, Graham Bell; a course within studies of cultural heritage protection at the Faculty for Civil Engineering in Subotica led by Viktorija Aladžić in summer semester, where the case study throughout the whole semmester would be Subotica Synagogue.
The project is run by Europa Nostra Serbia, in partnership with the Cultural Heritage without Borders, the City of Subotica, Municipal Institute for Heritage Protection in Subotica, Faculty of Civil Engineering Subotica and the State Institute for Heritage Protection of Republic of Serbia. The whole project has been financially supported by the Headley Trust.
About the Synagogue
The Synagogue in Subotica is a pearl of the Central European built heritage. While most of the synagogues dating from the second half of the 19th century were built in the style of Historicism, this one is unique for being conceived in pure Art Nouveau style (Hungarian Secession). It was designed by Hungarian architects Marcell Komor and Dezső Jakab whose differing talents shaped the building into a unique masterpiece. Komor contrived the modern early concrete structure of a building, while Jakab designed the decorative elements from Hungarian folk art motifs and symbols, accomplishing an outstanding work of the Hungarian Art Nouveau. The Synagogue has a symbolic and educational value as a testimony of multiculturalism of Subotica and its formerly big Jewish population, which is now too small to be able to keep up their place of worship.
The synagogue of Subotica which has been restored only in bits and pieces during the last twenty years, has been nominated in 2014 for the Europa Nostra “7 Most Endangered” Monuments list, and before that has been four times on the World Monument Fund List of 100 Most Endangered Sites.The Synagogue is finally coming through the processes of complete restoration and conservation with a donation from the Hungarian Government.