(JTA) – A group of 20 small bronze cobblestones in downtown Rome that serve as Holocaust memorials was uprooted and stolen.
Police are regarding the theft of the Stolpersteine, or Stumbling Stones, as “theft aggravated by racial hatred,” according to Italian media. There are no suspects.
Rome Mayor Virginia Raggi condemned the theft, which was discovered on Monday morning, “with force and profound indignation.”
The stones had been placed in January 2012 to commemorate 20 members of the Di Consiglio family.
The Stolpersteine memorial project was begun in the 1990s by the German artist Gunter Demnig. Brass plates, like cobblestones, are placed in front of the homes of people deported during the Holocaust, bearing the name, year of birth, and fate of the person memorialized.
It is not the first time Stolpersteine memorials were targeted in Rome. In 2010, vandals smeared black paint over a set of the stones that were among the first to have been placed in the city.