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Vatican Opens Shop With an Art Theme

July 14, 1996|ASSOCIATED PRESS

As part of the Vatican's campaign to raise funds, the Vatican Museums have opened their first boutique outside the walls of the city-state.

The new store, located across the street from a Vatican Swiss Guard checkpoint along a busy boulevard in Rome, sells silk ties and scarves designed for the Vatican by Salvatore Ferragamo and watches depicting a tiny scene from Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel ceiling. Other items include porcelain ashtrays designed for the Vatican by Limoges and reproductions of ancient Roman busts, priced at $280 and weighing up to 33 pounds.

The Vatican Museums, which house one of the world's richest art collections, are doing what American museums long ago were forced to do to survive--"develop the retail sector," said Georgina Bernett, an assistant to Vatican Museums administrator Francesco Riccardi.

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