|(CNS photo/Paul Haring)|
Masses are frequent in Rome. Check on the web for a location convenient for you.
Photo: A journalist looks at a replica of the 1st-century Arch of Titus, showing Roman soldiers carrying the menorah, in a exhibition at the Vatican May 15. The replica is the central motif in a two-part exhibition on the menorah at the Vatican and at the Jewish Museum in Rome.
Why to go: From a coin minted in the century before Christ’s birth to a 1987 Israeli comic book featuring a superhero with a menorah on his chest, the exhibit, “The Menorah: Worship, History and Myth,” documents the use of the seven-branched candelabra both as a religious item and a symbol of Jewish identity.
Among the pieces displayed at the Jewish Museum stands a towering mosaic inscription describing treasures buried at the Basilica of St. John Lateran, the cathedral of the Diocese of Rome. Dating from the 13th century, while the Crusades were raging, the mosaic’s 37-line inventory includes “the golden candelabrum” Titus brought to Rome.
The exhibit prominently features a replica of the 1st-century Arch of Titus, showing Roman soldiers carrying the menorah and other treasures into Rome. They also give a nod to the centuries-old legend that the Vatican is hiding the golden menorah from the Temple of Jerusalem.
Francesco Leone, the art historian who prepared the exhibit catalogue, told Catholic News Service the most historically reliable explanation of the Temple menorah’s fate is that it was taken as booty from Rome by the Vandals or Goths before the end of the fifth century and melted down.
Admission: The exhibit is scheduled to be open through July 23. One ticket — 25 euros — includes admission to the main part of the exhibit in the Charlemagne Wing just off St. Peter’s Square and to the Jewish Museum, located about a mile away at Rome’s main synagogue.
Hours vary at each museum and the Vatican Museums are closed on Sundays while the Jewish Museum is closed Saturdays. Check details for both venues at the Vatican Museums website (below).
(Grand) Kid friendly: Of course.
Info: Address — Vatican Museums, Viale Vaticano, 00165 Rome
Phone — +39 06 69884676 or +39 06 69883145
Website — www.museivaticani.va/content/museivaticani/en/eventi-e-novita/iniziative/mostre/2017/la-menora.html
— CNS; Sharon Boehlefeld contributed to this story.
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