It is the emblem of the state of Israel, and is also the symbol that distinguishes Jewish people throughout the world. Thus, the Vatican honors the menorah.
ALESSANDRA DI CASTRO
Director, Jewish Museum of Rome
'It is the oldest identity symbol of the Jewish people. As you know, it precedes the Star of David and in Rome it has even more strength. In Rome it was converted into the identity symbol of the Jewish people.'
For the first time, the Vatican Museums and the Jewish Museum of Rome are collaborating in an exhibition on one of the most important objects of Judaism.
Director, Vatican Museums
'It is an important venue, because it is in the heart of the Vatican, which is a symbolic place. It is now hugged by the colonnades in St. Peter's Square, in the center for all the faithful in the world to see. It's shown from the colonnade that Bernini and Pope Alexander VI collaborated on together.â?
The exhibition traces the risky history lived by this Jewish symbol, which was stolen by Roman Emperor Titus in 70 AD. He confiscated the famous candelabra as a booty of war, as this carving of the Roman arch that bears the name of the emperor narrates. Then, in the fifth century it's traces were lost forever.
However, this remembrance and what it represents are indelible to the Jewish people, because, according to the book of Exodus, it was God himself who commanded Moses to forge the famous seven-branched candlestick.
The exhibition collects authentic archaeological treasures, such as this stone in which the menorah is carved. It was found in the city of Mary Magdalene and belongs to a synagogue in which Jesus probably preached.
Thus, from the first centuries, it was represented in all kinds of objects, including this curious comic starring a superhero with a menorah on his chest.
The so-called Arm of Charlemagne also houses authentic art treasures such as this work by Marc Chagall. There, the Jewish painter paints a crucified Christ, the Menorah and portrays himself.
It is an unique exhibition that can also be seen from the Jewish Museum of Rome and where, with the same ticket you can enjoy the rich history of this important symbol.