Kochi: The front portion of Kadavumbagam Syna-gogue at Mattanchery, a 400-year-old iconic image of Jewish heritage in Kerala, collapsed due to rains that lashed the area on Monday night. The synagogue, also known as black synagogue, was constructed for the local Jews.
The synagogue, one of the oldest in the country, declared by the archeology department as a protected monument four years ago was in a state of neglect due to the official apathy and delay in completion of administrative formalities. The revenue department had set September 20 as the deadline for taking over the property to keep it as protected monument.
The state government has approved the proposal one year ago and also transferred the amount needed for the payment of the compensation to the account of the Ernakulam district collector. The legal formalities at the lower level of officialdom moved slowly leading to the collapse of the building said Ravishankar, the Thiruvanantha-puram-based photographer Ravishankar, who was among the persons involved in its conservation. It is a sad day, he said.
According to him the structure was well maintained till 2014 but because of some disputes the practice stopped.
For the past five years no maintenance could be undertaken for the preservation of the building, he said.
“We were all waiting for the take-over of the building by the district administration. Last week, revenue authorities had informed that by September 20 they will take over the property,” Ravishankar said....