The Myth of Vatican Treasures, Once Again

Arch of Titus

Arch of Titus by Daniel Ventura – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Despite recent reports, keilim from the Bayis Sheini aren’t held in Rome

There is a saying that old myths never die. This has certainly been the case with the persistent myth that the Vatican is holding the treasures of the Bayis Sheini, which was destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE, including the menorah from the Beis Hamikdash. This myth got a new boost when an unnamed Italian parliamentarian supposedly told Amichai Eliyahu, Israel’s minister of heritage, that “Rome” had possession of the Temple vessels and was prepared to return them.

According to the accounts, the parliamentarian went on to offer tremendous praise of Israel and the Jewish people.

Although it is always nice to hear good things about the Jewish people these days, what is really amazing is that this parliamentary representative somehow found out about the widespread false belief that the Vatican possesses the menorah and other treasures of the Beis Hamikdash and that he came to believe it—to the extent that he apparently proposed their return to Minister Eliyahu. We note, by the way, that Amichai Eliyahu himself has not made any statements about this report.

Read the rest of this article in Ami Magazine.

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