The mayor of Vidin, Ognyan Tsenkov, and the head of the local branch of the Shalom Organization of the Jews in Bulgaria, Roza Marinova, have signed the final donation contract that will see the 19th century Vidin Synagogue pass from the ownership of the organization to the municipality.
Shalom took the decision to donate the Synagogue to the municipality in March 2017. The signing of the donation contract took place on November 22.
Built in 1894 in the neo-Gothic architectural style, the synagogue in Vidin was the second-largest Jewish house of worship in Bulgaria. It was confiscated by the communist regime in Bulgaria after World War 2.
After World War 2, with the coming of the communist regime and the founding of the State of Israel, many Bulgarian Jews moved from the country to Israel. The Vidin Synagogue ceased to function as a house of prayer in 1950.
In 2009, ownership was transferred by the Ministry of Culture to Shalom. Three years later, the ministry announced plans to transform the building, which long since has fallen into serious disrepair, into a museum complex named after Vidin-born Jewish artist Jules Pascin.
Mayor Tsenkov, speaking at the November 2017 signing ceremony, said that restoration of the Synagogue should take place in the next five years, to proceed with transforming the building into a cultural venue and tourist attraction.
(Photos: Vidin municipality)