Italy (Israel): "Judaea Restituta" / "And the Sons Have Returned to their Home" medal, 1946; by Jewish-Italian medallist Arrigo Minerbi; struck in silver by Stefano Johnson of Mila
Lot #: a40037-LA

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Description
Italy (Israel): "Judaea Restituta" / "And the Sons Have Returned to their Home" medal, 1946; by Jewish-Italian medallist Arrigo Minerbi; struck in silver by Stefano Johnson of Milano; size (medal): 35mm; weight: 27.85g. Obv.: sailboat w/Heb. Leg. "Ve Shavu Banim LeGvulam" (Yirmiyahu Ch.31 v.16) above & dates 5705-5706 (1945-1946) in exergue; Minerbi's initials, left + "800" silver, Johnson's on right edge. Rev.: Latin leg. "Judea Restituta" (a play on Roman "Judea Capta" coins of 70+ AD) w/arch of Titus & gate of Jer. Old City & dates as on obv. in Roman numerals. Commissioned by Yehuda Arazi, Italy commander of "Mossad le Aliya Bet" (secret dept. of illegal emigration to Palestine) as token of gratitude to local civilians & officials who assisted him in enabling Jews to escape to Palestine, specifically following the "La Spezia affair" (April 1946) in which 2 illegal emigrant ships were stopped by the British, 1000+ Jews revolted/hunger strike & occupied the port, and the public outcry caused the British to release the boats to Palestine. Awarded starting Passover eve, 1946; est. 100-200 issued. Rare; considered to be Israel's first official medal even as a pre-State issue.