He tried to sell Cardinal a stolen manuscript

Vatican arrests former employee

Vatican City - A former employee wanted to sell a valuable manuscript to his ex-employer, the Vatican. The catch: The Italian had once stolen it from the archives of St Peter's Basilica. Now he is in prison.

Published  on 07.06.2024 at 13:01  – 

The Vatican police have arrested a former employee of the St Peter's Cathedral construction company. This was reported by the newspaper "Il Post" (Friday), citing the Vatican public prosecutor's office. The Italian is accused of receiving stolen goods, extortion and fraud.

The former Vatican employee was arrested while attempting to sell Cardinal Mauro Gambetti a historical manuscript that he himself had previously stolen from the archives of the cathedral's construction centre. Gambetti is Archpriest of St Peter's Basilica and President of the Cathedral Building Lodge. He reported the case to the Vatican gendarmerie, who arrested the man following a staged sales meeting. According to the newspaper, the ex-employee is currently waiting in a Vatican holding cell for a possible indictment.

The document is said to be a technical manual from the circle of the Italian sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598-1680). According to the newspaper, the 17th century manuscript describes the methods for gilding the baldachin columns in St Peter's Basilica. Bernini created the almost 30-metre-high canopy between 1624 and 1633. The baroque masterpiece stands under the dome of St Peter's Basilica and above the high altar of the basilica - and therefore above the tomb of the apostle Peter, the first pope and namesake of the church. The canopy is currently being restored and is therefore covered by tarpaulins. (KNA)