A Christian archaeological complex dating back to 1929
The Interagency Law-Enforcement Academy of Advanced Studies is housed in a building complex dating back to 1929. The beautiful- designed villa was built in accordance with the wishes of Pope Pius XI, an accomplished historian who encouraged Christian archaeological studies.
In this area there is a rich and significant underground testimony of the beginning of the Christian era; thirteen kilometres of amazing subterranean passageways make the Catacombs of Priscilla the principal Christian archaeological site in Rome.
Monsignor Giulio Belvedere, who was the incomparable assistant and the tireless executor of Pope Pius XI’s wishes, contributed to the foundation of the Pontifical Institute of Christian Archaeology and founder of the Comunità delle Benedettine di Priscilla.
Under Motu proprio “I primitivi cemeteri” of Pope Pius XI, the Institute of Christian Archaeology was created. It welcomed young scholars of theology and literature from all over the world to study Christian archaeology with scientific rigour and spirituality. Excavations began, which were to unearth hidden masterpieces, and architect Paolo Rossi de’ Paoli, who was well-known for his artistic skills in religious as well as urban restoration projects, received his first assignement in Rome in 1927, when he was asked to oversee the architectural restoration of the entire Priscilla complex.
This became a convent for the “Suore di Nostra signora del Cenacolo” (Sisters of Our Lady of Cenacle), a place of preaching and teaching, known for providing assistance to the neediest. During the Second World War, the Sisters allowed military encampments among the pine trees of their vast garden, and offered parts of the building to be used as a military headquarters and infirmary. After the war, the Sisters returned to their mission of tending to the people, especially the elderly in need, while disseminating their message of evangelical charity and devotion. When the needs of the Sisters changed, the complex was put up for sale; in 1985 it became a state property and was restructured as the Italian Interagency Law-Enforcement Academy of Advanced Studies.
When the needs of the Sisters changed, the complex was put up for sale; in 1985 it became a state property and was restructured as the Italian Interagency Law-Enforcement Academy of Advanced Studies.
The present activities at the Academy, which are based on sharing and coordination, make this institution an internationally-recognized academic centre, offering advanced training courses to Senior Law-Enforcement Officers from all the Italian Police Forces and encouraging cross-border cooperation through the admission of foreign Law-Enforcement Officers to the Academy courses.
Learning in an environment of shared cultures, while preserving the character of each individual police force, can only lead to the success of the law-enforcement mission, namely maintaining security and public order, while respecting individual freedom.
The Interagency Law-Enforcement Academy of Advanced Studies has continued to be a place of study, inclusion, research and dissemination of values which, in many ways, seem to refer back to the original mission of the complex. As a matter of fact, equality, security, legality and coordination are more easily attained through a serious common effort, reflected in the words engraved on the main facade of the building on the part of the Cenacolo room (which in the past was a chapel). On that facade’s broth stands a cartouche with a quotation of the Acts of the Apostles “(Acts 2,42) “Erant omnes unanimiter perseverantes in oratione”, which inspired the logo of the Academy “UNANIMITER PERSEVERANTES”, embodying a sense of duty and loyalty to public institutions as well as a shared commitment to training disseminted to Senior Officers from Police Forces.