Last Friday, as a part of the Holocaust Memorial Year, an exhibition was opened by Monika Balatoni, Minister of State for Public Diplomacy at the Hungarian Cultural Centre in Rome, presenting works of Hungarian and Italian Jewish artists.

‘In the Valley of Shadow’ is the name under the art exhibition runs and where those who pay a visit may watch the works of István Papp Sebők, Szabolcs Simon, Georges De Canino, Justin Peyser, Eva Fischer and Adriano Mordenti. Curators are Francesca Pietracci and Pál Németh.

As the Minister of State said to the Hungarian News Agency via phone, „the exhibition of the Hungarian Cultural Centre expresses the unbound nature of art and the universality of the memory of Holocaust at the very same time”.

Photo: Klára Várhelyi - Hungarian Cultural Centre in Rome

She stated that these pieces of art summon the plain truth a very powerful way. „The darkest moment of human history is made visible here, giving an opportunity to the people of present times to face what had been done; without which it is not possible to understand and realize the message of the victims – human dignity before all that is. Never again should it be possible to prosecute and humiliate people on the basis of their origin”, remarked Monika Balatoni.

The Minister of State reminded that Csaba Kőrösi, Hungarian Ambassador of the UN apologized for the responsibility of Hungary in the Holocaust. Monika Balatoni emphasized that the then-current government of the country was indeed responsible for the acts, but the apology of the present government should become integral with national memory and identity. This remark was applauded by the attendees of the ceremony.

Present were at the opening Mr Riccardo Pacifici and Mr Giacomo Moscati, president and vice-president & advisory of international relations of the Roman Jewish Community. Monika Balatoni added that their attendance was important because on 27th of January, 2013, on the international day of remembrance of the Holocaust, the lights of the Coliseum were shut down on their initiative in reaction to the „intensifying nature of the Hungarian anti-Semitism”. Moscati greeted the efforts of the Hungarian Government against anti-Semitism. The Minister of State pointed out that Eva Fischer, a contemporary artist who and determining figure of the Italian cultural and intellectual life, is being present at the exhibition with four pieces of her art.

The program is linked to the events of the Hungarian Holocaust Memorial Year. The date of the opening of the exhibition was a careful choice, as the 27th of January is the day of remembrance of the Holocaust in Italy. The exhibition was realized under the patronage of the Roman Jewish Community.

(Ministry of Public Administration and Justice)