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Unpacking Some Vatican Splendors

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Some rare religious objects from the Vatican museum will be on display in Cleveland next week. ideastream®'s David C. Barnett reports that some of these ancient items date back to the third century.

Friday, May 23, 2008 at 3:27 am

Workers wearing surgical gloves opened the side panel of a blue crate... pulled away some padding... and gingerly lifted out what amounted to an ornate gold picture frame. One by one, on-lookers squinted through the glass at the dark image of Jesus, said to be one of the oldest such renderings in the world. It's one of some 200 such ancient artifacts that will be on display starting May 31st, at the Western Reserve Historical Society's "Vatican Splendors" exhibit. As curator of the Vatican Museum, Monsignor Roberto Zagnoli accompanies the collection when it tours two or three times a year. The objects are insured for millions of dollars. Does he get nervous when they are on the road?

ZAGNOLI: He says he always works with highly professional people so he's not calm...he's VERY calm. He trusts them completely.

After unpacking the objects, the Monsignor said he was looking forward to sampling some of the palate-pleasing treasures of Cleveland, at a local Italian restaurant.

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