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Indignation in Italy after anti-Semitic engravings on the door of a Florence university professor

News Tank Academic - Paris - News #325637 - Published on 22/05/24 at 18:30
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©  University of Florence
Novoli Campus - Political Sciences, Economics, Law. - ©  University of Florence

"Unacceptable. There are no other words to describe what happened at the Department of Legal Sciences at the University of Florence", says Giovanna Iannantuoni, president of the Italian Rector's Conference (CRUI Conferenza dei Rettori delle Università Italiane ) on 22/05/2024. This declaration is in reaction to the engraving of a Star of David and threats on a Florence University professor's door on 21/05/2024.

"An intimidating and violent act that by definition puts those who perpetrated it outside the academic community.

Universities are free places of confrontation where there is room for anyone's opinions, but never, under any circumstances, for prevarication and threats", added Giovanna Iannantuoni.

The Italian Minister of University and Research, Anna Maria Bernini, also reacted on Twitter (X): "What happened at the University of Florence is a disgusting act, a shameful attempt to turn back the clock on horrifying history.

I stand next to the professor of the Faculty of Law and the entire University which must continue to be a place of discussion, inclusiveness and free thought."

Other Italian political figures have taken to social media to condemn the incident and call out antisemitism, like the Mayor of Florence, Dario Nardella.

"What happened shows us how antisemitism is present within our universities. Stating that what is happening in universities does not have an impact on anti-Jewish hatred is equivalent to denying the evidence", says the Italian Union of Young Jews.

The Union is referencing the protests taking place on several campuses across Europe, including in Italy, where students are calling for a cease-fire in Gaza and opposing the Israel-Gaza war.

The Italian authorities are looking for the perpetrators of the incident in Florence.

©  University of Florence
Novoli Campus - Political Sciences, Economics, Law. - ©  University of Florence