Graffiti found at ancient Italian prison

June 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

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Predicting the future with the wisdom of crowds

June 23, 2017

Forecasters often overestimate how good they are at predicting geopolitical events—everything from who will become the next pope to who will win the next national election in Taiwan.

UN says world population will reach 9.8 billion in 2050

June 22, 2017

India's population is expected to surpass China's in about seven years and Nigeria is projected to overtake the United States and become the third most populous country in the world shortly before 2050, a U.N. report said ...

Authenticity key to landing a new job

June 22, 2017

At job interviews, relax and be yourself - if you're good, being yourself may be the best way to secure a job offer, according to a new study involving UCL researchers.

0 comments

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.