The city of Rome is set to replace the Holocaust memorial plaques that were stolen last month and install two dozen new ones throughout the Italian capital, local media outlets reported Friday.
According to the Corriere della Sera daily, 26 new brass cobblestones would be installed outside the former homes of Jewish Holocaust victims on January 15 and 16.
In addition, the municipality will also replace the 20 cobblestone-affixed memorial plaques that were stolen in mid-December from Rome’s historic neighborhood of Monti.
The 20 plaques in front of the Di Consiglio family home were dug out from the pavement overnight, leaving gaping holes in the street. Police opened a hate crime investigation into the theft.
The Di Consiglios were among the Italian families who suffered the most loss during the Holocaust, with over 20 members killed by the Nazis.
Rome’s historic center houses the Jewish ghetto, near Monti, and its cobblestone streets are dotted with the plaques in front of homes of Jews who were killed or deported.
They are known as “stumbling stones” because they were originally intended to protrude from the sidewalk, causing passersby to stumble over them and be reminded of the atrocities of the Holocaust. While ultimately it was decided that the plaques would be flush with the ground, the name stuck.
Each plaque represents a different Holocaust victim. There were roughly 200 in the city prior to the apparent theft.
Italian lawmakers and religious leaders at the time denounced the theft of the memorial plaques as unacceptable, with Rome Mayor Virginia Raggi saying: “Memory requires respect.”