Catholics and Jews To Hold Joint Art Exhibit

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Vatican Museums and Rome’s Jewish community will hold its first ever joint art exhibit from May 15 to July 23, Religion News Service reports.

The exhibit, titled “Menorah: Worship, History and Myth,” will feature 130 items, including religious documents, paintings, and stone tablets.

Cardinal Kurt Koch, head of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, said the joint art exhibit promotes a healthy relationship between the Catholic and Jewish communities.

The main artifact to be showcased is a 2,000-year-old stone block featuring a relief of a menorah. The block was discovered by archaeologists from an Israeli synagogue. The exhibit will explore the history of the ancient 7-lamp Hebrew lamp stand and its influence on Christian art.

“This is an interesting initiative from a cultural point of view and its ideological symbolism,” said Rome’s chief rabbi, Riccardo Di Segni. “Although the menorah is essentially considered a Jewish symbol, it also has a history in the Christian world.”

Cardinal Kurt Koch, head of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, said the joint art exhibit promotes a healthy relationship between the Catholic and Jewish communities.

Meantime, Arnold Nesselrath, deputy director of the Vatican Museums, added that the exhibit will feature not just important artifacts, but will also show how religions can work together.

“We want to do this exhibition to show we can do something positive together and there is a long history of 2,000 years of mutual reference,” said Nesselrath.

Sources:
Religionnewscom. (2017). Religion News Service. http://religionnews.com/2017/02/20/catholics-and-jews-mark-history-of-the-menorah-with-first-joint-show/?page_number_0=1

Worldreligionnewscom. (2017). World Religion News. http://www.worldreligionnews.com/religion-news/vatican-romes-jewish-community-team-first-art-exhibit-together

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