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Rescuing a monument from ruin

A rundown house of prayer located on Słowackiego St. in Kielce will be transported to the environs of the cemetery in Pakosz, which is the only way of saving this historical building from complete ruin.


This building, which is located in a backyard of a tenement house at 3 Słowackiego St, is a former house of prayer that dates back to 1922. It was built by an entrepreneur named Herszel Zagajski, the owner of the ‘Wietrznia’ limestone plant. The building covers the total surface of fifty-four square meters and has been falling into ruin for years despite the fact that in the early 1990s the whole real estate, including nearby tenement houses, was recovered to legal heirs. The building could either remain in a closed-down area or wait for permission to be moved to a new place where it could be revived once again. Last year, the Kielce Dorbud company purchased the building. It was at that time that the provincial monuments’ restorers announced that the building would be entered into the monuments’ register. The Dorbud President did not object but it was clear to him that the protected historical building would impede developing the tenement houses that surround it.

This decision is yet to legally come into force but the building itself, without the land, has been already entered in the register, which is why the idea of moving it to a place in front of a Jewish cemetery in Pakosz has been put forward by Bogdan Białek, the President of Jan Karski Association. He admits that he has been toying with the idea of rescuing the house of prayer for a long time because this house is one of three such buildings in Poland that have survived to the present day. Additionally, in Kielce, for historical reasons, it has become a symbol. The whole action enjoys the support of the Chief Rabbi of Poland and the Jewish Community in Katowice. Cutting the building, its transportation, reconstruction and renovation, which pose the most difficulties, will be completed by the Dorbud company. Presently, drafts, plans and necessary agreements with the monuments’ restorer are being made. The company wants to obtain subsidies from the Fund of Norway. In all probability, the building will be transported to the municipal land next year.

Source: Gazeta Wyborcza Kielce daily