27 MAR 2018
David Duffy FRICS is the consultant sponsor for the Lost Shtetl project in Lithuania.
Unique to Central and Eastern Europe, Shtetls were small towns that had large Jewish populations. Lithuania alone had around 90 shtetls pre-war, but by 1945 they had all been decimated. The Lost Shtetl is a unique Lithuanian Jewish Culture and Heritage project that aims to remember these forgotten towns and traditions.
It comprises of three separate elements in the town of Šeduva; the restoration of the Old Jewish Cemetery, the erection of three monuments in the town’s mass murder sites and the construction of a Jewish Museum.
As the representative of the sponsors for the museum building project David‘s primary responsibility is to manage all project expenditure. David felt that being an RICS Fellow was crucial in maintaining the sponsors‘ trust. Given the sensitive topic of the project being regulated by an established professional body demonstrated David would operate under the strictest of ethical standards.
David also coordinates the design of the project. The restoration process involved over eight-hundred gravestones, which in some cases included the re-identification of victims of the holocaust.
However, the biggest component of the project will be the Jewish museum. The Lost Shtetl museum is set to open in 2020 and is expected to drive tourists to the area and boost the local economy.
More importantly the 2,700-square metre site will employ the latest technologies to teach visitors the history and culture of Lithuania’s lost shtetls, giving value to Jewish traditions and paying homage to the many victims of the holocaust.