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Gun used on John Paul II exhibited at his birthplace

Published on Apr 8, 2014 5:52 AM
A Browning HP 9mm pistol used by Ali Agca for the assassination attempt on May 13, 1981, is on display at the historic house museum of the Holy Father John Paul II Family Home in Wadowice, Poland on April 7, 2014, two days ahead of its official opening. -- PHOTO: AFP

WADOWICE, Poland (AFP) - The gun used in an assassination bid on Pope John Paul II went on display on Monday, April 7, 2014, as part of a new exhibition at the soon-to-be saint's childhood home in Poland.

The former Karol Wojtyla, who will be canonised on April 27, was born in a house overlooking a basilica in the southern town of Wadowice that has since become a museum and pilgrimage site for his huge following.

Italy's justice ministry has loaned the museum the gun, a Browning 9mm, for three years.

The late pontiff nearly died when Turkish extremist Mehmet Ali Agca shot him at close range in 1981 in Saint Peter's Square, with one bullet going through his abdomen and another narrowly missing his heart.

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