Rome, Jan 29 (IANS/AKI) Vandals have defaced the walls of a Rome museum, which celebrates the resistance to Nazi occupation, with graffiti that calls the Holocaust ‘zionist propaganda’.

The site of the Historical Museum of the Liberation was used as a prison by Nazis during the occupation of the city until it was liberated by Allied troops in 1944.

Police have opened an investigation into the possible involvement of extreme right-wing groups who sprayed the anti-Semitic scribble as Pope Benedict XVI and Italian political leaders prepared to mark Holocaust Remembrance day on Wednesday.

Swastikas, Celtic crosses and graffiti denouncing leaders of Rome’s Jewish community, the city’s mayor Alemanno, Israel and the US were also sprayed onto walls of buildings in the area.

The Nazis killed almost all the 1,000 Jews deported from Rome in 1943.