Biblical Archaeology Review 31:4, July/August 2005

The Temple Menorah—Where Is It?

By Steven Fine

What is history and what is myth? What is true and what is legendary?

Reporting on his 1996 meeting with Pope John Paul II (1978–2005), Israel’s Minister of Religious Affairs Shimon Shetreet reported, according to the Jerusalem Post, that “he had asked for Vatican cooperation in locating the gold menorah from the Second Temple that was brought to Rome by Titus in 70 C.E.” Shetreet claimed that recent research at the University of Florence indicated the Menorah might be among the hidden treasures in the Vatican’s storerooms. “I don’t say it’s there for sure,” he said, “but I asked the Pope to help in the search as a goodwill gesture in recognition of the improved relations between Catholics and Jews.”1

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