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Courtesy LDS Church
Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno (left of center), with Elder José Teixeira (middle) of the LDS Church's Quorums of the Seventy, toured the construction site of the first LDS temple in Italy.

ROME — Referring to the ongoing construction of the Rome Italy Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as "the biggest investment of private capital in Italy right now," Mayor Gianni Alemanno of Rome recently visited the temple site and came away impressed.

Mayor Alemanno toured the construction area with Cristiano Bonelli, president of the IV Municipality of Rome. According to a report on the LDS Newsroom website, the mayor “was impressed with the church’s high construction standards and materials.”

The website also indicates that the mayor, who is an environmental engineer by profession, was pleased with the low environmental impact of the temple complex. The complex includes:

the 40,000-square-foot granite-covered temple;

an LDS stake center, or meetinghouse for weekly worship;

a visitors’ center, where visitors can learn more about the LDS Church;

a family history center for genealogical research;

an accommodation center, which will provide lodging for temple workers and patrons who have to travel significant distances to Rome;

and carefully prepared and tended grounds and gardens.

"We're at the beginning of a great work,” said Mayor Alemanno in a story about his visit in the Roma Capitale News. "A work this big and grand testifies that this community has great faith that we greatly respect.”

“For us,” Mayor Alemanno continued, “every religious center that is created within the perimeter of our city gives even more value to it as the center of Catholicism, because it shows that there is an openness, a tolerance, and a shared understanding of the value of human life and of the family. And this, for us, is important, even from a social standpoint. In fact we are convinced that people that believe in these values can give a positive contribution to the life of our city."

Completion of the complex is expected in 2014.