In the framework of the actions of the Medieval Route of Rashi in Champagne carried by the Aube Tourisme Agency
By Delphine Yague. A touristic and artistic circuit project through villages of Aube around frescoes is being planned for 2022-2024. It is thought as a new cultural action to tell the history of former Jewish communities of Champagne.
This project is led by Communauté de Communes Arcis-Mailly-Ramerupt (a group of Municipalities situed in north Aube) in partnership with the Aube Tourism Agency, the Association Les Passeurs de Fresques and the inhabitants.
It emerged in the frame of the animation of the Medieval Route of Rashi in Champagne for the Aube Tourism Agency which carries the Route.
The implementation of the Route actions is quite specific due to its purely immaterial and literary Jewish medieval local heritage. Also, any animation project is thought of as an original ex-nihilo project that makes possible to see, to touch and to live this heritage differently.
The Frescoes project is seen as an opportunity to involve locals in its creation and thus raise awareness on the theme of Jewish medieval heritage, to offer a first materialization of this heritage on the territory and to create a slowtourism offer in Aube region.
The municipalities of Dampierre, Ramerupt and Lhuître in the north of Aube region have applied to carry a first project.
Later, each one of the 20 other Aube municipalities wishing to integrate this project, will also be able to host a narration painted on fresco on one of its exterior walls accessible from the communal road. Each fresco will stage this intangible heritage through a unique artistic creation with the concourse of artists. They will be painted in a large format of several meters on the chosen walls.
After a first meeting in May 2021, the action schedule has been drawn up with a program of several animations (lectures, meetings with classes, guided tours, Frescoes course and demo…).
The creation of the three frescoes is respectively planned for spring 2022 for Dampierre (30.05.2022 to 03.06.2022), spring 2023 for Ramerupt and spring 2024 for Lhuître.
The three of them were chosen for their famous history on the theme of Jewish heritage, with the former presence of the Tosafists’ school in Ramerupt and Dampierre, especially led by Rashi’s grandsons Rachbam, Rabbenou Tam, and later, Rabbi Isaac.
A call was launched in October 2021 and three artists were selected upon sketches: Jean-Philippe Ledit, Javier de Sierra Salaberry, Jean-Jacques Jolinon. The sketches are now being improved until April 2022 in order to begin to paint the Frescoes.
In each fresco, the drawing narrative will reveal both what we know about Jewish heritage and local medieval history: historical figures as Rashi, his daughters and grandsons but also the count of Champagne and other major local figures; medieval work and professions; landscape and agriculture; former castles and villages, blasons… The thread of each fresco will be linked to the notion of “writing/book” and represented by the Wisemen of Champagne’s biblical or talmudic commentaries or responsa related to local daily life. Some words of old French written in Hebrew letters that they were used to introduce in their commentary will also appear on the Fresco.
Beyond the tourist aspect of the project, the Frescoes project proposes an artistic valorization with the inhabitants (school public, EHPAD residents, local associations, general public, …), a major interactive component to raise public awareness of this heritage and help fighting against antisemitism.
In all its components, the project will thus meet the five criteria of the Council of Europe in the creation of a European Route: