Vatican, Rome's Jews putting on first-ever joint museum show

The museums of the Vatican and Rome's ancient Jewish community have teamed up to host their first-ever joint exhibit, building on decades of improved Catholic-Jewish relations after centuries of mistrust.

The exhibit's focus is the menorah, the seven-armed candelabrum depicted in Jewish, Catholic and secular art over the centuries.

Since Rome's Jewish Museum is tiny, it will host only 10 works. The other 120 works will be displayed at the Vatican Museums' Carlo Magno exhibit space in St. Peter's Square. A highlight will be a recently-discovered bas relief from a 1st-century Galilee synagogue.

The Jewish Museum flanks Rome's main synagogue, site of a landmark 1986 visit by Pope John Paul II.

Lending museums for the exhibit, which runs from May 15 to July 27, include the Louvre and London's National Gallery.