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FGV-SP 2010

1 The doormen outside the headquarters of Shanghai's Municipal Education Commission have a new colleague these days. On Friday evenings and Saturday mornings they are joined by a young Mandarin-speaking Israeli, who keeps an eye on comings and goings. The ivy-covered compound, built in the 1920s, is also the home of Ohel RacheI, one of Shanghai's last surviving synagogues. This month, for the first time in almost 60 years, it reopened for regular Sabbath services.


6 Around the city, a number of signs detailing long-forgotten street names have been erected. The Shanghai Corporate Pavilion at the World Expo, funded by local state enterprises, commissioned a Pulitzer-prize-winning photographer, Liu Heung Shing, to compile a book of images of Shanghai's history, giving him unprecedented access to the city's archives.


7 Yet this more relaxed attitude towards history does not always beget more vigorous preservation. In some areas of the city, demolition continues. The demand for new infrastructure, or simply property, can be more than enough to trump the appeal of conservation. Parts of the wartime Jewish "ghetto" area in Hongkou district, for instance, were recently knocked down. Parts of the past itself are still off limits too. In Mr Liu's book, a number of historical moments are notably absent, such as the student protests in Shanghai in 1989. Some history is still too hard to face.

According to the information in the article, Liu Heung Shing

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