CULTURE A Tram, a Fugitive and a Painter in Rome

ortonaBy Pagine Ebraiche Staff

Emanuele Di Porto was barely 13 years old when he managed to avoid arrest during the Nazi raid in the old ghetto of Rome on October 16, 1943. The streetcar operators of Atac, the public company that ran (and still does) the public transportation in Rome protected him, hiding him for 48 hours inside a tram.

The story has moved and inspired Jewish Libyan artist Giorgio Ortona.

Born in Tripoli, Ortona was forced to leave the country together with thousands of his fellow Jews in the sixties. A painter, Ortona asked Atac if he could visit their warehouses and there he found a lot of material that inspired him. From this research he has produced a number of paintings that will be shown in the exhibit, “Emanuele Salvato dall’Atac” (“Emanuele saved by Atac”). The exhibit will be held between April 2 and April 8 at the Atac Museum, with the cooperation of the local branch of B’nai B’rith.

The exhibition will feature portraits of Emanuele as well as a number of urban landscapes and views.

The press conference to present the event will take place on tram number 404 which was used to connect the Termini Train Station with the film studio Cinecittà.