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Accepted Paper:

Jewish heritage and politics of memory in post-communist Romania  
Sonia Catrina (CSIER-Centre for the Study of the Jewish History in Romania & CEREFREA-Centre Régional francophone de recherches avancées en sciences sociales)

Paper short abstract:

This presentation will address the emergence or decline of heritage-value in what regards Jewish heritage in the Romanian post-communist context.

Paper long abstract:

Jews from Romania currently represent a declining population at national level, comparing with a century ago. For these reasons, their social cohesion is threatened. In the absence of powerful identity bonds, some of the synagogues formerly used for religious gatherings, and buildings dedicated to socio-cultural practices or monuments have fallen into decay, have been sold or rented and then converted to other usages or even destroyed. As a result, they have lost their primary identity symbolism. Some others have been rehabilitated and Jewish religious or socio-cultural practices restored. On the one hand, the emergence of value with respect to Jewish historical buildings incites us to investigate the aggregation of economic or cultural values attributed to them. On the other hand, the lack of interest of national authorities and cultural heritage specialists in intervening through policies and planning measures in rehabilitating Jewish synagogues or other similar historical remains, such as palaces, monuments or cemeteries, forces the sociologist to look into the processes of declining their value. The objective is thus to explore the stakes surrounding their keeping in a bad condition or, on the contrary, the stakes of their renewal. More precisely, the purpose of this study is to stimulate reflections on Jewish heritage assets as perceived within the Romanian post-communist society, to reveal negotiations, tensions, or identity conflicts.

Panel P138
Managing Jewish heritage assets in European urban landscapes
  Session 1