Dear friends of the Jewish Museum of Rome,
in welcoming you on the website of the Jewish Museum of Rome we would like to share with you some considerations which inspired the renovation of the museum, opened in 2005 and constantly updated with adaptations and integrations. Let us begin with a question, in a classical Hebrew style: what is a museum?
A place where keeping works of art? Not only that. Today’s museology aims not only at collecting, preserving and exhibiting the artistic and historical collections. One of its complementary missions is to pass the works on to future generations. Another one is interpreting these works, translating them into effective experiences from an educational, intellectual, cultural and aesthetic point of view for an audience as wide as possible. Working on the interpretation of a collection: this is the great challenge of those who want to build a museum. Each collection has its own soul, a special nature and a vocation. Our museum is the museum of Roman Jewry, a Jewish Community unique for living in the same place for twenty two centuries : this is the subject we decided to work on.
Therefore our favorite themes are the definition of Jewish identity, and of the one of Roman Jewry in particular, taking into consideration also other factors, such as Judaism of different origins (i.e. of the Jews arrived from Spain in 1492 or of the migrants from Libya in 1967); life and culture in Rome and Italy; the meaning and use of the objects in liturgy, during the holidays, in daily life. But, in a conceptual sense, our museum doesn’t belong only to the Jews. It contains a part of the history of Rome. Therefore it is also a municipal museum. As such it is expected to emphasize the relationship between Roman Jews and the city of Rome, meant as a physical place and as a laboratory for coexistence, as the capital of a nation, Italy, which has had for over two thousand years a very special relationship with Judaism. For the quality of the works contained in it, the Jewish Museum of Rome is also a very important museum of decorative arts.
The new layout inaugurated in 2005 by the Director Daniela Di Castro z.’l. is meant to exalt these manifold aspects. This is one of the most interesting Jewish museums in the world as it has preserved almost integrally a patrimony unique for its quantity, quality and rarity. A place of elegance and dialogue in which Jewish Rome presents itself and opens to schools, townspeople, Jewish and non Jewish visitors, who come from all over the world to know better a very ancient community which is active and vital still today.
The Director and the staff of the Jewish Museum of Rome are happy to welcome you in this virtual visit and hope to see you soon in our premises.
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