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Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Vatican City State turns 80

Eighty years ago, the sovereign Vatican City State was born. Now secret documents will offer a window into that historical moment: the treaty negotiations, the territorial questions, the grappling over the appropriate role for the church.

To celebrate its 80th anniversary, Vatican City this week unveiled a commemorative exhibit that traces its history from the 19th-century battles with the Italian state to the modern-day popes.

“Visitors who come to Rome know about the Vatican, but they only know St. Peter’s Square and the Vatican Museums,” said exhibit curator Barbara Jatta.

Curators say that the exhibit will show how the smallest country in the world runs. Vatican City is 109 acres in size, surrounded by thick walls, gemmed with beautiful gardens, and has the internal structure of a sovereign state, such as a post office, railroad, a sophisticated telecommunication system and a heliport.

It is home to pope and the rule of the Catholic Church, called the Holy See. But this hasn’t always been the case, and it is that struggle to maintain control of the eternal city that is the focus of the exhibit, "1929-2009, Eighty Years of Vatican City State.”

You can read the rest of the report and see pictures at this link:

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