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Frontpage News 2009 Turning pages to start a new chapter


Turning pages to start a new chapter

The initial chapter of the EEA and Norway Grants closes in end-April when the approval of projects comes to an end. At the same time, we flip to a new chapter with more than 1100 projects in implementation.

By 30 April 2009, all commitments under the EEA and Norway Grants 2004-2009 have to be made. Today`s portfolio of 900 projects, funds and programmes are expected to augment to 1100 before the deadline expires.

At the same time, a few projects have already reached the finish line. 15 projects have been completed, all in the Czech Republic and Poland, two countries that have been quick in implementing the grant schemes. The number of completed projects will increase significantly during the year, and all projects need to be finished by 30 April 2011.

Czech synagogue restored
In the northern Czech Republic, a project to restore the synagogue in Turnov is taking its final steps toward completion. On 20 November last year, the renovated synagogue was officially opened for religious purposes and for visitors interested in learning more about the region`s Jewish minority.

After decades of neglect, the 18th century synagogue was in poor condition when restoration works commenced in 2007. The Jewish community of Turnov, most of which were eradicated during World War II, abandoned the synagogue after the war due to the difficult political circumstances in the Czech Republic. From the 1950s onwards the synagogue functioned as a warehouse for a hardware store, a usage unbecoming for such a valuable cultural heritage site.

The synagogue is among the oldest in the Czech Republic, and is also the northernmost synagogue in the Bohemia region. As such it is an important symbol of the Jewish minority in Turnov, who has roots in the area dating back to 1527.