Vatican ransom demand

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

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