(photo credit: The Museum of the History of Polish Jews)
The Museum of the History of Polish Jews based in Warsaw has begun a project to
reconstruct the ceiling of the renowned Ukranian Gwozdziec synagogue in the town
of Sanok, southeastern Poland.
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The synagogue, built between 1700 and
1731, was a largely wooden structure with an ornately carved and decorated
cupola ceiling, resplendent with Hebrew inscriptions and intricately painted
images of the zodiacs, animals and vegetation. It was destroyed, along with
approximately 200 other wooden synagogues, during the German occupation of
Poland in World War II.
A series of workshops in the nearby town of
Rzeszów has already begun recreating and painting the elaborate wooden panels of
the original Gwozdziec synagogue and additional workshops on the premises of the
Tempel synagogue in Krakow started on Sunday.
An international team of
professional carpenters, artisans and architects have come from the US, Canada,
Great Britain, Denmark and Poland to help in the construction of the synagogue,
which will, when complete, comprise 450 individual pieces of timber measuring
5,000 meters end-to-end.
The completed cupola structure will be installed
in the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw as a central part of the