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The first Western depictions of Native Americans

Dancing naked men found on a restored 15th century painting may be the first Western depictions of Native Americans. The painting, by the Renaissance master Pinturicchio, was finished in 1494, just two years after Christopher Columbus first set foot in the New World. It has adorned the walls of the Borgia Apartments

Original model for Michelangelo’s Pieta found

An art historian has claimed to have found the original model created by Michelangelo for his Pieta statue in St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican. The terracotta model, which is about 12 inches tall and dates from the late 1400s, was found in a mouldy box in an antiques shop

Documents from Vatican’s secret archives published for first time

A series of documents, including a 13th-century letter from Genghis Khan's grandson demanding homage from the pope, have been release from the Vatican's secret archives. The Holy See’s archives contain scrolls, parchments and leather-bound volumes with correspondence dating back more than 1,000 years. High-quality reproductions of 105 documents, 19 of which have

Staffordshire Hoard wanted by the Vatican

That is the fear of experts who believe the haul of 1,500 artefacts, made of gold and silver and decorated with precious stones, could be the lost treasure of King Edwin, a seventh century Christian monarch. Edwin ruled Northumbria from about 616 AD until his death in 633 AD. At the time

Vatican researcher claims “Jesus Nazarene” found written on Turin Shroud

A historian at the secret Vatican archive claims to have found the words "Jesus Nazarene" written on the Shroud of Turin. She suggested that it was written by low-ranking Roman officials or mortuary clerks on a scroll or piece of papyrus to identify Christ's corpse. Such a document would have enabled

Vatican to give Queen copy of Henry VIII’s divorce plea

A copy of a document in which Henry VIII's peers appeal to Pope Clement VII to annual the king's marriage to Catherine of Aragon will be given to the Queen today. The 95 x 46cm (37 x 18in) parchment, which dates from 1530 and bears 81 red wax seals, is a

Found?: The remains of the Apostle Paul

In a surprise announcement, Pope Benedict XVI said the human remains found in an ancient Roman tomb may belong to the Apostle Paul. Now the Vatican wants to open the sarcophagus to conduct further tests. Carbon dating showed that the bone fragments belonged to someone who lived between the first and

Rome catacomb reveals oldest image of St. Paul

Using laser technology, Vatican archaeologists have found in the catacombs under Rome what they believe is the oldest image in existance of St. Paul the Apostle, dating back to the 4th century. A photograph of the icon shows the thin face of a bearded man with large eyes, sunken nose and