Graffiti found at ancient Italian prison

Jun 16, 2006

Graffiti left by prisoners held by the Inquisition in Sicily more than 200 years ago have been found on the walls of an ancient prison.

The Steri, the Inquisition's headquarters, is being converted into a museum, the Italian news agency ANSA reported. Between 1601 and 1782, hundreds of people the Catholic Church suspected of heresy or witchcraft were held there for questioning and torture, few of them emerging alive.

Historians have been able to identify some of the prisoners from information they left behind on the wall. Archaeologists have also discovered elaborate artwork, including an entire wall depicting the Battle of Lepanto.

"Many of the victims were simply intellectuals or artists whom the church considered a threat to its power," Domenico Policarpi, who heads the project, told ANSA.

The graffiti provide a window into a world that is little-known because the viceroy in Palermo in 1782 ordered Inquisition documents burned.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Research shows how Spanish colonists changed life in the Middle Rio Grande Valley

Related Stories

Physicists fine-tune control of agile exotic materials

24 minutes ago

Physicists have found a way to control the length and strength of waves of atomic motion called polaritons that have promising potential uses such as fine-scale imaging and the transmission of information ...

Recommended for you

New Sesotho-named dinosaur from South Africa

Jun 24, 2015

South African and Argentinian palaeontologists have discovered a new 200 million year old dinosaur from South Africa, and named it Sefapanosaurus, from the Sesotho word "sefapano".

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.