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Thieves 'threw away' John Paul II relic: reports

Published on Jan 31, 2014 2:01 AM
This handout picture released by the San Pietro della Ienca church shows the religious relic - a piece of cloth impregnated with the blood of Polish pope John Paul II's blood on it. -- PHOTO:AFP

ROME (AFP) - Thieves accused of stealing a religious relic stained with Polish pope John Paul II's blood threw it away thinking it worthless, Italian media said on Thursday, reporting the police had detained three people.

The three "did not understand the relic's value" and "cannot remember where they threw away the precious loot", the ANSA news agency said, citing the police.

Police recovered the object's metal frame but could not find the cloth, believed to be part of the robe the pontiff was wearing when he was shot in an assassination attempt in St Peter's Square in 1981.

It was stolen on Saturday along with a cross, which has also been found, from the San Pietro della Ienca church in the mountainous Abruzzo region in central Italy where the late pope loved to go on skiing holidays.

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