Lonely Planet Writer

Venice looks to celebrities for funds to restore historic ghetto

The Venetian Heritage Council, headed by fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg, is seeking €8 million in donations to restore the historic Jewish Ghetto area in time for the 500th anniversary of its establishment in 2016.

The Jewish Ghetto, Venice.
The Jewish Ghetto, Venice. Image by Jay Galvin / CC BY 2.0

On 29 March 1516 Venice’s rulers decreed that the city’s Jewish population must live in the Ghetto, an area named after the local foundry which was surrounded by water and locked up at night. The appeal has so far raised €2 million, with wealthy American Jewish business people and celebrities such as Barbra Streisand and Donna Karan already having made donations. The money will be used to restore the area’s Jewish Museum and synagogues, which are in a bad state of repair, with cracked floors, rotten timbers and leaky roofs. Venice will also mark the Ghetto’s anniversary with a concert at La Fenice opera house and an exhibition at the Doge’s Palace. Read more: telegraph.co.uk