Thursday, June 1, 2017

Vatican, Jewish museums explore menorah in art and dark legend

CRUX
By Cindy Wooden
A journalist looks at a replica of the 1st-century Arch of Titus, showing Roman soldiers carrying the menorah, in an 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. (Credit: Paul Haring/CNS.)
ROME - The Vatican Museums and the Jewish Museum of Rome are exploring together the significance of the menorah, although they also give a nod to the centuries-old legend that the Vatican is hiding the golden menorah from the Temple of Jerusalem. A two-part exhibition, one at the Vatican and the other at the Jewish Museum of Rome, prominently features a replica of the 1st-century Arch of Titus, showing Roman soldiers carrying the menorah and other treasures into Rome. 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. The exhibit is scheduled to be open through July 23. [More]