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Marzel. 'Return looted treasures' Photo: Alex Kolomoisky
Marzel. 'Return looted treasures' Photo: Alex Kolomoisky
 
 

Rightists want stay of exit order against pope

Baruch Marzel, Itamar Ben-Gvir file criminal complaint against Benedict XVI, demand court order him to return treasures looted from Jerusalem Temple almost 2,000 years ago. Court rejects petition

Aviad Glickman
Published: 05.11.09, 10:43 / Israel News

Extreme right wing activists Itamar Ben-Gvir and Baruch Marzel demanded on Monday that Pope Benedict XVI return looted Temple treasures in a criminal complaint they filed at the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court.

 

The two also demanded a stay of exit order be issued against the pope and his three escorts arriving in Israel on Monday.

 

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Justice Ron Alexander rejected the petition later Monday, and ruled that, as the head of a state, the pope has international immunity.

 

Ben-Gvir and Marzel argued that Roman Emperor Titus, who destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple, took with him the seven branches candelabrum that was placed there.

 

Along with the menorah, other artifacts were also looted, such as the basin, the gold and copper altars and the curtains. The two claim that at least some of the treasures can be found in the cellars of the Vatican in Rome.

 

The complaint also said that on a separate unknown date, various Talmud and Jewish philosophy scriptures numbering some 7,500 were also looted.

 

Ben-Gvir and Marzel said these scriptures could also be found in the Vatican's cellars, and that some of them were even presented as the Vatican's Jewish literature during an international book fair.

 

The two said the cellars are under the pope's control and that he and his entourage were responsible for holding the items in question.

 

Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel Shlomo Amar and Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger both appeared on the rightists' witness list.

 

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