Thursday, July 9, 2015

USA: Burlington Mural to be Unveiled on August 2, 2015

 Burlington, Vermont. Chai Adam Synagogue mural arriving at its new home at Ohavi Zedek Synagogue, May 6, 2015. Photo courtesy of Ohavi Zedek Synagogue

USA: Burlington Mural to be Unveiled on August 2, 2015
by Samuel D Gruber
(ISJM) The early 20th century synagogue mural in Burlington, Vermont, recovered from a former synagogue turned apartment building, was successfully moved to its new home at Ohavi Zedek Synagogue on May 6, 2015. I posted about preparations for the move last March.  The mural was moved in May. The mural will be unveiled in its new location in a ceremony on the evening of August 2, 2015.

You can watch a short film documenting the move here: 

In the end the move only took a few hours - but all the technical details and conservation challenges took over a year to work out.

Work on this project is far from over.  Though conservation and cleaning work took place at the original site in the year before the move, additional cleaning and infill of damaged parts will take place over the coming year. The exact extent of paint infill has yet to be determined. Originally the plan called for restoring the mural at least to the 1986 condition, which was fully documented. This decision will be reviewed by the history, art and conservation team before new work begins.

As importantly, the Project is now beginning work on an exhibition and education component that is intended to provide extensive information - much of it online - about the the history, art, architecture, and communities of Jewish Lithuania and Burlington; a detailed history of the making and conservation of the mural; further information about the immigrant experience in Burlington and elsewhere; and the materials related to the Holocaust in Lithuania.  The intent is also to provide materials and information useful for new research and to be used for study and teaching. 

The Lost Shul Project has raised over $400,000 so far from hundreds of donors. Almost all the money has gone to conservation and moving costs.  Funds are still needed for further conservation and restoration and for the educational components. Contributions can be made on the website or can be arranged through Ohiavi Zedek Synagogue.

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