Officials from the Italian town of Schio are doubling down on their refusal to install a memorial honoring local victims of the Holocaust, after the move prompted criticism from the Jewish community.
In an address made late last week, Valter Orsi, mayor of Schio, defended the municipal council’s recent decision to reject a memorial representing citizens of the town who died in Holocaust death camps.
According to Orsi, the proposal was not brought to the town in good faith.
The installation, proposed by an opposition council member, comes as part of the Gunter Demnig’s “Stolpersteine” art project, which began in December 1992. Each stone, or “stumbling block,” includes a victim’s name, birth year, date of detention and ultimate fate. There are now about 70,000 stones in 21 European countries.
The motion brought before the municipal council called for the installation of a total of 14 stones.
While some may have opposed the memorial’s installation, Di Segni explained that the council’s move is “even worse than acts by individuals because with this decision Holocaust denial becomes an official act.”
Italian Senator Daniela Sbrollini told the Corriere della Sera that Schio’s officials have “written a bad page for the city” by prohibiting the memorial.
Earlier this year, a Holocaust brass plaque was defaced in Rome with a sticker that, in German, read: “Murderers always return to the crime scene.” The year prior, some 20 stumbling blocks were stolen from the city, reported Israel Hayom.