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Exhibit in Rome features treasures of Vatican Archives

February 28, 2012

A special exhibition of material from the Vatican Secret Archives will open on February 29 in the Capitoline Museums, marking the 400th anniversary of the Archives.

The exhibition, which will be open until September 9, includes 100 documents selected to represent the rich Vatican treasury of historical data. Those documents will include the Dictatus Papae of Pope Gregory VII (1073-1085); documents on the trial and suppression of the Knights Templar; the bull of excommunication of Martin Luther; a letter from Pope Clement VII to the British parliament regarding the matrimonial case of King Henry VIII; and the records of the trial of Galileo.

(The Vatican archives are routinely called the “Secret Archives” although much of the material in the collection is routinely made available to scholars and researchers. The documents to be included in the 2012 exhibit are not secret, although they have not previously been available for public display.)


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