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Education | History Jodensavanne | Renaissance: 1971 -1998

Renaissance: 1971-1998


After several initiatives to clean up the site during the 20th century, the founding of the Joden Savanne Foundation took place on October . It was the result of an initiative of Mr. W.J.J. Koole in 1968, who formed a committee to preserve the unique historic place. Through a Dutch grant in 1972 , the firm Woudenberg did a thorough preservation of the remains of the synagogue.


Some actions had been taken to maintain the sites regularly and to develop visitor facilities. Two historic houses from Paramaribo were reconstructed to function as small museum and restaurant, and some additional facilities for visitors were set up. The Archeological Service of Suriname studied the Jodensavanne cemetery from 1981 to 1983, but the results were not fruitful. Mitrasing concluded: “The work at Jodensavanne yielded the most returns in connection with the setting up of the Service and the education and training of an archaeological crew”. Excavations of skeletal material at Jodensavanne by Khudabux demonstrated a very poor state of preservation due to the acidity of the soil.

In 1982 Mr. Reteig, chairman of the JSF, developed an ambitious development plan for the area, including bungalow park, theme park, recreation facilities and yacht waterfront. There was insufficient interest for this “development”, for, as Metz (1998) mentioned, focus was not on conservation of the cultural heritage but on theme park recreation. Until 1986, the JSF kept the site in a good condition and easily accessible. Unfortunately during the civil war in 1986-1992, access to Jodensavanne became limited; the monuments were once again overgrown and the facilities were demolished.

 

( Areal photo of Jodensavanne in the 1970's by Teunissen)

 

 

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