Fondazione De Benedetti - Cherasco 1547
Restoration Works/Synagogue Restoration
The physical state of the synagogue complex showed material signs of its age and of the numerous transformations the structure had sustained, as well as of the deterioration caused by prolonged rainwater infiltration from the roof.
Also present were several cracks in the walls, which, in extent and effect, necessitated considerable stabilizing reinforcement.
The restoration project was prepared by Architect Deborah Gutowitz, with the aim of reinforcing the structure, as well as restoring the artistic quality of the wood furnishings, the frescoes, and the fabrics, in a manner that would showcase the story of an important era in Piedmont, Cherasco, and Jewish history.
In particular, the intervention mandated preservation of the synagogue in a manner that avoids transforming it into rarefied jewel; this would have risked extinguishing the still evident expressive vitality of the era, despite the deterioration caused by years of disuse. The work involved:
· The shell casing (waterproofing, installing watertight doors and windows, etc.)
· Reinforcing and bringing existing structures up to standards without visually compromising their layout.
· Installing electrical and mechanical systems in accordance with required codes.
· Elimination of latter-day structural and decorative additions that impinged on the project.
· Restoration of the wall and wood decorations.
Restoration of the synagogue and the old school room (wood structure and furnishings) required an investment of 650,000 euros over three years (October 2003 – April 2006). It was financed by the De Benedetti Foundation with support from: the Piedmont Region, the Jewish Community of Torino, the Compagnia di San Paolo, the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Torino, and the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Cuneo.