NEWS Mantua, a Project to Preserve the Ancient Jewish Cemetery

MantovaBy Pagine Ebraiche staff

The preservation and valorization of the ancient Jewish cemetery will be at the core of the project “Mantova Hub”, whose goal is to transform and develop the outskirts east of Mantua by renovating many of its buildings and spaces.

The future of the area where the cemetery used to stand was presented by Israeli architect David Palterer, together with his colleague Luca Cardani, Mantua’s city council member, Andrea Murari and full professor at the Politecnico di Milano, Federico Bucci. The event was organized with the cooperation of the local Jewish Community and the Fondazione Franchetti.

“Remembrance is not just about the past. It has to be lived constantly, every day. Our work to build the future starts from remembering our roots, a shared heritage,” Palterer commented.

The area of the cemetery will be open to everyone, but surrounded by a wall. The project has been designed with the help of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities, the city of Mantua and the Politecnico, as well as the full involvement of the Italian Rabbinical Assembly, both with its’ president Rav Alfonso Arbib, and with the local Rav, Adolfo Locci.

Once called “little Jerusalem”, Mantua features a rich Jewish heritage: among the initiatives that have been carried out is the mapping of the Jewish tombstones that used to be in the ancient cemetery and which are now scattered around the outskirts of the city.

“Jewish culture belongs to the entire city, as the important figures who are buried in this cemetery remind us. Their vicissitudes are a proof of the continuous exchange between Jews and non-Jews, and between the Jews of Mantua and the rest of the Jewish world. Let’s not forget that here the Zoar was printed for the first time,” concluded Palterer.