IN popular imagination the Vatican is, away from the hallowed halls, a place of dark corridors, skulduggery and shady secrets.
On Sunday, the Pope’s press secretary appeared to give weight to the Hollywood image.
He said the Vatican had received a ransom demand for the return of two rare documents written by Renaissance master Michelangelo, which were stolen from its archives nearly 20 years ago.
Father Federico Lombardi said a cardinal in charge of St Peter’s Basilica had been contacted by a person who offered to get the documents back for what Lombardi called “a certain price”.
Italian newspaper Il Messaggero said the person, described as a former Vatican employee, had asked for ß100 000 (R1.3-million).
Lombardi said Vatican and Italian police were now investigating the case.
– The Telegraph