Rome school children clean Holocaust memorials

Students clean Rome's 288 stolpersteine to keep memory alive.

On Tuesday 21 May, World Day of Cultural Diversity, Rome's German embassy and the association Arte in memoria invite school students and their families to participate in the initiative Spolverare la memoria, which involves cleaning the city's 288 brass cobblestone-sized memorials commemorating victims of the Holocaust.

Known as stolpersteine in German, or literally translated “stumbling stones”, the memorials have been placed across Rome since 2010 by Berlin artist Gunter Demnig.

The plaques are installed outside the last chosen place of residence of victims of the Holocaust, detailing their first and last names, date of birth, date and place of deportation, and date of death in a Nazi extermination camp.

Numerous Roman schools are taking part in Spolverare la memoria on 21 May, including the Scuola Germanica di Roma and the American Academy in Rome.

Organisers say the initiative is designed to "dust the memory" and to remember the individual names of the victims, their destinies, to counteract oblivion and to promote peaceful coexistence in the present and the future.

Held each year on 21 May, the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development celebrates the richness of the world's cultures as well as the role of intercultural dialogue for achieving peace and sustainable development.

See related feature article.

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Wanted in Rome is a monthly magazine in English for expatriates in Rome established in 1985. The magazine covers Rome news stories that may be of interest to English and Italian speaking residents, and tourists as well. The publication also offers classifieds, photos, information on events, museums, churches, galleries, exhibits, fashion, food, and local travel.
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