Woman Appointed President of Academy of Archaeology

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VATICAN CITY, MAY 7, 2003 (Zenit.org).- Letizia Pani Ermini, an Italian specialist in medieval archaeology, was appointed by John Paul II as president of the Pontifical Roman Academy of Archaeology.



Pani Ermini has been the academy's secretary. The first woman to be appointed to a post at this level in the Holy See, she is succeeding Monsignor Victor Saxer.

Founded in 1810, the academy is meant to "promote the study of archaeology and of ancient and medieval art," the Pontifical Yearbook explains.

In addition, the academy "illustrates the Holy See's archaeological and artistic monuments," and "promotes learning and the development of culture through scientific communications, conferences, publications, meetings and other forms of research and study."

The academy's "protector" is the Vatican secretary of state, at present Cardinal Angelo Sodano. The institution has 140 fellows.

Pani Ermini will form part of the Council for Coordination Among the Pontifical Academies, presided over by Cardinal Paul Poupard, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture.