Former Vatican employee arrested for allegedly trying to sell Bernini’s manuscript
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Former Vatican employee arrested for allegedly trying to sell Bernini’s manuscript

A former Vatican employee was arrested in a dramatic operation after he tried to sell a manuscript by Gian Lorenzo Bernini that he allegedly stole from the official archives of the Holy See.

This person met on May 27 in the basilica with Mauro Gambetti, head of the administration of St. Peter’s Basilica. Peter, in the belief that he would sell him an 18-page manuscript that detailed the gold leaf patterns that Bernini used to decorate the famous 29-mm manuscript. the tall Baldacchino canopy rising above the basilica’s altar.

However, what the seller didn’t know was that Gambetti was secretly cooperating with Vatican investigators as part of an audacious trap. Gambetti handed the seller, who was reportedly accompanied by an anonymous accomplice, a check for €120,000 in exchange for the 17th-century manuscript. When the seller then left the basilica, Vatican gendarmes moved in and arrested him.

The Italian media called him the art historian Alfio Maria Daniele Pergolizzi. It is believed that the seller stole the manuscript from the archives of the Tapestry of Saint. Peter, an institution created in the 16th century to oversee the construction of the basilica, which now coordinates the construction of the basilica. building renovation. Pergolizzi was Fabric’s head of communications from 1995 to 2011. He is currently in a Vatican prison and has been interrogated twice by investigators.

Justice promoter Alessandro Diddi is expected to decide this week whether to prosecute Pergolizzi or not, Vatican News– reports the state’s official media channel. Pergolizzi could be charged with extortion, fraud and receiving stolen property.

Vatican authorities planned the attack after the administrators of St. Peter’s Basilica. Peter informed Diddi that the 1633 manuscript had been lost and reappeared as a photocopy in a 2021 book edited by Pergolizzi.

However Dagospia the outlet reports that Maria Grazia D’Amelio, a professor at Rome’s Tor Vergata University and author of the book edited by Pergolizzi, claims that she has never seen any trace of the manuscript in the archives, despite visiting them many times for research purposes. Pergolizzi told the gendarmes that the manuscript was given to him by Monsignor Vittorino Canciani, a former canon of St. Peter’s Basilica who died in 2014.

Silere non possumA Catholic website extremely critical of Pope Francis said Pergolizzi was denied access to documents purporting to prove his guilt, adding: “this is a grave violation of fundamental human rights against citizens of foreign countries.”