Tags: michelangelo | letter | ransom | vatican | stolen | documents

Michelangelo Letter Ransom: Vatican Asked to Pay for 2 Documents Stolen 20 Years Ago

By    |   Tuesday, 10 Mar 2015 09:40 AM

Two documents written by Renaissance master Michelangelo taken in an undisclosed theft from Vatican archives nearly 20 years ago have resurfaced, but church authorities will have to pay a ransom to get them back.

The theft of the two documents – one a letter including the signature of the artist who painted the Sistine Chapel, designed part of St Peter's Basilica and sculpted statues such as David and the Pieta – had not been made public before now, Reuters reported.

Following a report by Rome newspaper Il Messaggero, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said a cardinal in charge of St Peter's had been contacted recently by a person who offered to get the documents back for what Father Lombardi called "a certain price".

Il Messaggero said the person, described as a former Vatican employee, had asked for 100,000 euros.

Father Lombardi said the cardinal "naturally refused because these are stolen documents".

The spokesman said a nun who worked in the Vatican archives informed officials in 1997 that the documents had gone missing.

He did not say why the Vatican had not disclosed the theft until now.

While the newspaper spoke of only one letter signed by Michelangelo (1475-1564), the spokesman said two documents had gone missing.

He added that Vatican police were investigating the case together with their Italian counterparts.

Neither the spokesman nor the newspaper disclosed any details of the documents, which were taken from the archives of the Vatican department that looks after the upkeep of the basilica, known as the Fabbrica di San Pietro.

They contain numerous documents concerning the history, design and construction of the largest church in Christendom.

It took more than 100 years to build and was completed in 1626.

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Two documents written by Renaissance master Michelangelo taken in an undisclosed theft from Vatican archives nearly 20 years ago have resurfaced, but church authorities will have to pay a ransom to get them back.
michelangelo, letter, ransom, vatican, stolen, documents
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2015-40-10
Tuesday, 10 Mar 2015 09:40 AM
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