Several pigs’ heads were mailed in boxes last week to Jewish institutions in Rome, including the city’s main synagogue and the Israeli embassy, according to a report in La Repubblica Saturday.
Police intercepted the package that was mailed to the embassy in the prestigious Parioli neighborhood of Rome, after similar “gifts” had been received by the synagogue and the Jewish Museum of Rome.
“Those who insult the Jewish community offend Rome,” said Rome’s mayor Ignazio Marino in a tweet. “We reject the intimidation outright.”
The synagogue’s parcel was delivered Friday moments after staff had received an anonymous phone call warning about a bomb delivered to them.
Bomb disposal experts were rushed to the scene, only to discover a pig’s head, which they believe came from a slaughterhouse.
According to La Repubblica, Rome has seen an unprecedented level of antisemitic intimidation, in anticipation of International Holocaust Memorial Day, Monday, January 27, which is the day of the liberation of Auschwitz by the Allies. The packages included bizarre references to Theodor Herzl, founder of the political Zionist movement, and Holocaust denial slogans, which police believe were intended to “scare the Jewish economy.”
Police are investigating fingerprints and DNA traces found on the packages, which had been secured with packing tape and delivered by the same postal company, TNT. The three parcels arrived at TNT on the evening of January 23 and shipped from a fulfillment center in the southern part of Rome.
On Saturday morning, swastikas and antisemitic slogans have appeared on the walls of buildings in Rome’s third sub-municipality. One of the inscriptions reads “The Holocaust is a lie,” and another is a slur against Anne Frank.