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Obelisk missing from St. Peter’s Square

April 01, 2024

The ancient Egyptian obelisk that has stood in the center of St. Peter’s Square for centuries was missing on Easter Monday, with Vatican officials and Roman police unable to explain its disappearance.

The massive pink granite structure, more than 80 feet high and weighing an estimated 330 tons, was in St. Peter’s Square the previous day, as tens of thousands of people gathered for the Easter Sunday Mass and the Pope’s Urbi et Orbi blessing. It was apparently removed sometime during the night.

Vatican officials said that there had been no plans to move or alter the obelisk. Its removal left a crater-like hole in the center of St. Peter’s Square. Workers have erected barriers around the rubble to protect pilgrims and tourists from accidental injuries.

The obelisk was brought to Rome by the Emperor Caligula, and originally placed in the Circus where St. Peter was executed. In 1586, under the direction of Pope Sixtus V, it was moved to its current location, in a massive operation involving 900 men and 140 horses, and taking five months to accomplish. Originally dedicated to “the divine Caesar Augustus,” the obelisk was then rededicated, with the inscription: “Christus vincit/Christus regnat/Christus imperat.”

Police in Rome reported no unusual movement of heavy machinery during the night after the Easter Sunday celebration. The current whereabouts of the obelisk are unknown.

However, one Italian journalist noted that a famous American private detective, identified as Benedico Blanco, was sitting silently at the outer edge of St. Peter’s Square during the papal audience on Easter Sunday. When contacted on Easter Monday, Blanco said that he was on hand because he knew that a crime would be committed.

When asked to explain his premonition, Blanco replied:

I knew something like this would happen, because today is April Fool’s Day.


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  • Posted by: thomascary3066 - Apr. 02, 2024 12:07 AM ET USA

    Good one! Had me going...

  • Posted by: winnie - Apr. 01, 2024 9:34 PM ET USA

    I laughed & forwarded it to friends and family who enjoyed it.

  • Posted by: BH - Apr. 01, 2024 8:16 PM ET USA

    That’s a good one, you got me! Thank you for this, I was a little disappointed I hadn’t come across an April fools headline until now.

  • Posted by: filioque - Apr. 01, 2024 8:11 PM ET USA

    If it's going to happen, this is the day.

  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Apr. 01, 2024 12:18 PM ET USA

    A similar kind of thing happened to the "Georgia Guidestones" nearly 2 years ago. But instead of an April Fool's joke, they were actually blown up during the night.

  • Posted by: padre3536 - Apr. 01, 2024 11:57 AM ET USA


  • Posted by: feedback - Apr. 01, 2024 10:31 AM ET USA

    I'm not surprised. The Egyptian obelisk must have been sent back to Egypt ;) In related news, the Vatican also promised to give back ancient Parthenon sculptures to Greece.