Former Vatican employee arrested in connection with the sale of Bernini’s missing manuscript

Vatican authorities arrested a former employee for trying to sell a 17th-century manuscript by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, which he allegedly stole from the official archives of the Holy See. The Italian daily was the first to report the matter Domani.

Bernini is known as a master of Baroque architecture, and the disappearance of the 18-page manuscript spurred the complex operation. The suspect allegedly met on May 27 with Mauro Gambetti, head of the administration of St. Peter’s Basilica. Peter, believing that Gambetti was interested in purchasing a gilded document that details the decorative elements that Bernini created to decorate the famous canopy rising over the basilica.

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However, Gambetti secretly cooperated with Vatican investigators to nab the suspect, who was reportedly accompanied by an unidentified accomplice. After giving the seller a check for 120,000 euros ($129,000) in exchange for the manuscript, Vatican gendarmes arrived and arrested him.

The seller was identified in Italian media reports as art historian Alfio Maria Daniele Pergolizzi, who is believed to have stolen the manuscript from the archives of the Tapestry of Saint. Peter, an institution founded in the 16th century to manage the construction of the cathedral. basilica and who is currently supervising the renovation of the building. Pergolizzi was head of the communications department from 1995 to 2011. Per ReutersHe is in prison in the Vatican on charges of attempted extortion.

Vatican NewsThe official state media channel reported that Alessandro Diddi, a promoter of Church justice, will decide this week whether to indict Pergolizzi.