Italy seizes 3 500 fake 'Apostolic Blessings' in Rome

2015-12-14 19:02
Italian soldiers patrol in Rome. (Andreas Solaro, AFP)

Italian soldiers patrol in Rome. (Andreas Solaro, AFP)

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Rome - Police say they have seized 3 500 fake Vatican parchments that were being sold to unsuspecting pilgrims taking part in Pope Francis' Holy Year celebrations.

Rome's financial police said on Monday they seized the parchments, valued at about €70 000, at a souvenir shop near St Peter's Basilica, where heightened police patrols have been deployed to protect pilgrims taking part in the yearlong Jubilee celebrations.

The parchments were knock-offs of the calligraphy-filled, personalised Apostolic Blessing parchments that are sold inside the Vatican by Francis' chief alms-giver to fund the pope's charitable efforts. The parchments are valued keepsakes, commemorating births, marriages and in this case, Holy Year pilgrimages.

The Vatican used to outsource the parchments to craftsmen around town but earlier this year cancelled the work to keep all proceeds in-house.

Read more on:    italy  |  religion

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