Tuesday, 5 July 2011

ASI misses a Monumental error - Revised edition

Published in The New Indian Express, Kochi edition on Monday, 4, July 2011.

Click  the image to enlarge
Would like to make clear the points,

Parur synagogue, one of the seven existing synagogues of Kerala exists near to the vicinity of Pattanam, the city near the ancient port of Muziris or so called Cranganore, holds a Jewry. The Jew street, the remnants of the pillar at the entrance and the synagogue complex tells us the story of Jews of Parur.

Muziris project of Kerala department of tourism in association with Archeological department of Kerala is restoring the Parur synagogue (believed to be build in 1616 AD). With a large synagogue complex compared other existing synagogues, Beholds a great blend of Jewish and Kerala Architecture. The initiation took by the government for restoration works are quiet appreciatable.  But would like to bring out some points into the notice of the authority undertaken the restoration work.
Firstly at the entrance just above the main door a Hebrew writing is there and now it is written as 
As seen below

But it is wrong. Some recent photos took before the restoration shows the same inscription, it happened because of the flaking or the chipping off of the Plaster. The flaked portion is also visible.

But after the restoration the same mistake was repeated rather than correcting it. It has to be corrected to 
Which is read "Beith Ha Knesset"means "House of assembly", Hebrew equivalent to the Greek word Synagogue. It is clear mistake to be corrected.

Following that the restoration has to be done with the utmost care, and has to be done after research.

Some pieces detailing designing works and wooden carving were seen within the complex compound, but these wooden decorative pieces given least importance. Still lies in the ground.

Other than that this heritage site's restoration is actually spoiling the building's antiquity estimating parameters by introducing new modern architectural techniques like using ceiling tiles under the roof tile for beautification, making the concealed electric cables wiring, attaching the electrical fixtures by drilling the walls. Few new items like nut and bolt are also used for the restoration it would be nice if avoided those kind of new and alien items to a 400 year old building, it would be better if old locally made iron nails were used.

As per the information got from the caretaker of the Parur synagogue, the Ark of covenant to be restored there will resemble the design of the Ark of Chennamangalam synagogue. But Original Ark of the Parur synagogue (dated 1892) was dismantled and restored in the Israel Museum, Jerusalem Israel.  And its design is very much unique from that of the Arks of other Synagogues of Kerala, with a carving with a depiction of the seven-branched candelabrum from the vision of the Prophet. So restoration of of the Ark of its exact replica has to be considered.

Even hope that the Parur Jewish Cemetery with those existing tombs will also be protected as a part of the project (Located near Excellent College, North Parur).

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