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The City Council sets in motion the commission that will work for our municipality to be part of the Network of Jewish Quarters "Caminos de Sefarad" (09/07/2018)

Lorca is nominated as a main candidate, so an ambitious project is being prepared that will be presented in September and in which the historical justification, the material elements, the tourist organization of the city, its geographical location, the investment made in the recovery of the legacy in recent years, and current spending justified in cultural activities related to Jewish culture

The Councilor for Tourism of the City of Lorca, Francisco Montiel, reported that this municipal area has held this morning a working meeting with municipal technicians to present the project with which the city will choose to participate in the process of admission of new cities to the Network of Jewish Quarters "Caminos de Sefarad".

Francisco Montiel pointed out that "the cultural and tourism proposal of the Network of Spanish Jewish Quarters has generated great interest among many Spanish municipalities that have a history of Jewish presence, as is the case in our city. of the Network of some cities, has encouraged the institution to open a new process of admission of new members, by which between three and six cities could be incorporated in 2019. Lorca is nominated as a main candidate, so we have created a commission who is working on a project that will be presented in September along with the reception of candidacies ".

The Councilor for Tourism added that "the bases of admission detail the aspects that will determine which new municipalities are part of the Network as of 2019, among them the aspects related to historical justification, the material elements, the tourist organization of the municipality, its geographic location (favoring the provincial Jewries without presence in the Network), the investment made in the recovery of the legacy in recent years, and the current expenditure justified in cultural activities related to Jewish culture. They have shown their interest in being part of the Béjar, Sagunto, Onda, Melilla or Tui Network ".

Montiel stressed that "the inclusion of our municipality in the Network of Jewish Quarters in Spain has the full support of the Consistory, which shows the interest that awakens in Lorca our past and culture." On November 30, 2015, the City Council in its ordinary session of Plenary, already requested its incorporation into the Network of Spanish Jewish Quarters "Caminos de Sefarad", noting that the excavation of the eastern area of ​​the Castle of Lorca, linked to the construction of the Parador, had as more remarkable campaigns that of 2003, the year of the discovery of the Jewish quarter and of the years 2005-2008, which allowed a more exhaustive study of the synagogue building and its relationship with the rest of the Jewish quarter. "

The Tourist Councilor recalled that "it was in 2003 when the Synagogue was discovered and the appearance of significant elements such as the Hanukkah, facts that made possible the identification of the Jewish quarter of Medieval Lorca, located in the eastern part of the castle , with a synagogue complex given the relationship between the synagogue building and a house, known as "the house VII." In particular, the dating of the building of the Synagogue corresponds to the first half of the fifteenth century, when he grew up considerably the population and it became necessary to build a building that could satisfy the community needs ".

The importance of these findings of the Jewish presence in Lorca, had as a consequence and complement the exhibition "Lights of Sepharad", which opened in 2009 in Murcia, having visited the Spanish capital in 2015. In addition, three of the ritual lamps discovered in the excavations of the Synagogue were part of the exhibition entitled "Bibles of Sepharad" which was held at the National Library of Spain in Madrid.

The existence of these important archaeological remains has had a positive impact on our city, including, among other actions, the organization of visits from Jerusalem and Jewish institutions around the world, including the Sephardi Rabbi of Israel.

With the same purpose of disseminating the findings, the Lorca City Council organized the itinerant exhibition "Traces of Jewish Culture", which has visited important cities related to the Jewish area such as Lucena, Toledo, Ávila or Córdoba, members of the Red de Jewish quarters of Spain.

Specifically in our city, a Jewish Culture Festival has been organized since 2013, "Jewish Festival", which in collaboration with Casa Sefarad, offers the union of culture and leisure in a unique setting such as the Castle of Lorca.

It is also worth noting the participation for some years in the European Day of Jewish Culture, and as a more recent activity activities carried out in Cordoba to mark the 700th anniversary of its Synagogue.

Source: Ayuntamiento de Lorca

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