Fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg, along with real estate investor Joseph Sitt, is leading the charge on a massive $12 million restoration for the Jewish Museum and five jewel-box synagogues in Venice’s former Jewish ghetto, as per the New York Times.
The area has been significant for the Jewish population since 1516, when the Republic of Venice declared that the city’s Jewish population had to live in an enclosed area about the size of a city block. This lasted until 1797, when the republic fell to Napoleon. But the area still remains the heart of Venice’s Jewish community.
The project, which is expected to reach completion in 2016, will repair the interconnected buildings of the area’s ghetto compound. The intention is to improve traffic flow inside the museum while establishing a gallery inside the ghetto complex to house religious objects made of silver. Also in the plan is the restoration of several gilded wooden panels with carved features inside the five 16th-century synagogues.
Of the renovation, von Furstenberg said: “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.”
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