ROME (JTA) – Rome’s mayor has begun a three-day official visit to Israel.
During his trip, which began Sunday, Gianni Alemanno will meet Yad Vashem President Avner Shalev and outline plans for a planned new Holocaust museum in Rome. He also will meet senior Israeli and, probably, Palestinian officials and inaugurate a square in Jerusalem named after Rome.
Alemanno also will take part in the awards ceremony for the Dan David Prize, endowed by the Dan David Foundation and headquartered at Tel Aviv University. Rome, along with Jerusalem and Istanbul, was awarded the prize in 2004. The city is using the prize money to develop a center for archeological restoration in Israel that will be a joint project between Tel Aviv University and Rome’s Sapienza University.
Alemanno, whose political roots come from the neo-fascist movement, was elected last year as Rome’s first right-wing mayor since World War II. He has demonstrated support for Jewish causes and Israel since his election.