Jewish volumes back in Rome after looted by Nazis
ROME – Through a Memorandum of Understanding of the Jewish Community and the Carabinieri for the Protection of Cultural Heritage, some 19 copies of Jewish texts dating from the 16th century to the 20th century, that were raided by the Nazis from Jewish families in Rome between Sept 30 and Dec 4 in 1943, returned to the eternal city. A working group has been set up to aid in the recovery and return of further cultural heritage items to the MIBACT, according to a press release.
The ceremony in which the memorandum of understanding was signed took place at the Synagogue Gardens in Rome, with the Undersecretary of MiBACT, Anna Laura Orrico, the Commander General of the Carabinieri, Giovanni Nistri, and the Chief Rabbi, Riccardo Di Segni, in attendance and speaking.
Title pages include, ‘Of the sacred schools of the Jews’, ‘Meditations of baptism’, ‘The enigma of Genesis’, and ‘In the happy passage of his Highness Madame Isabella Infanta of Spain marries Archduke Joseph of Austria’, according to web24news.
The 19 volumes had been found in the Archives of Rodolfo Siviero, an Italian secret agent who committed himself to defending national cultural heritage during the Second World War.
Jews were never expelled from the Italian capital, but they did have to endure cruel persecutions and restrictions, and, in 1555, Pope Paul IV established the Jewish ghetto.
Art theft was very common in Nazi occupied Europe, with organised looting in several European countries, looting approximately 20 per cent of Europe’s artwork, according to expert art dealer Ivan Lindsay.