Italy’s culture minister Dario Franceschini has strongly condemned an incident in which a letter containing antisemitic messages and images was sent to the National Museum of Italian Judaism and the Shoah (MEIS) in the northern city of Ferrara.
A police investigation is underway to identify the person who hand-delivered the threatening letter to the museum over the Christmas period.
The exact contents of the anonymous letter have not been revealed but it has been reported that it contained a phrase highly offensive to the Jewish community while the images reportedly relate to a concentration camp.
Franceschini described it as a “vile and despicable act, which strikes a cultural institution intended to remember the suffering, persecutions and atrocities suffered by the Italian Jewish community due to the infamous racial laws.”
The letter was also condemned by the leader of the Emilia Romagna region, Stefano Bonaccini, who expressed his “indignation” over the incident which comes ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Day on 27 January.
The MEIS is located in a complex of buildings that once housed a prison in Ferrara, a city with a Jewish history dating back to early medieval times.