Vilnius eyes space for artists in former synagogue location

Vilnius Old Town

Vilnius authorities are considering giving a Soviet-era school building in central Vilnius, built where the Great Synagogue of Vilna used to be, to artists and later demolish the building.

Administration director Povilas Poderskis told BNS Lithuania the 950-square-meter building in Vokiečiu Street could be rented out to an operator and it would subsequently rent the space to various artistic activities.

Poderskis also said the municipality has plans to eventually demolish the building which was built during the Soviet times after the synagogue was demolished.

"It used to house Vytė Nemunėlis primary school. It will be demolished but before that we'll try to find an operator to rent the space out", Poderskis told BNS Lithuania.

Vilnius Mayor Remigijus Šimašius said earlier the Great Synagogue of Vilna should be at least partly rebuilt. The synagogue was originally built in the XVI century, and it used to be one of the largest Jewish religions institutions in Eastern Europe.

The synagogue and surrounding building were damaged during World War II, and the Soviet authorities decided to demolish them in 1955-1957. A kindergarten was later built there and the building later housed the primary school.

Source: BNS
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