A commission of inquiry was established here Sunday to investigate how to save what is left of Jewish catacombs in Italy. Most of them are in a state of total neglect. Rome’s Chief Rabbi Ella Toaff and government and technical experts will participate in the work of the commission. Their immediate problem is how to deal with Paragraph 33 of the concordat between the Italian State and the Vatican which gives the Vatican complete authority over all the catacombs which are the oldest in Europe. In the past, Vatican experts have often removed objects from the Jewish catacombs and kept them in the Holy See’s private museums. In view of the current decay and the relative absence of valuables, it appears highly probably that a revision of Paragraph 33 might be drafted.
SIGN UP FOR THE JTA DAILY BRIEFING