Spain: pope's intervention sought in Madrid 'tapestry war'

107,000 signatures against cardinal, in favour of S.Rita group

23 January, 14:43

    (ANSAmed) - MADRID, JANUARY 23 - Pope Francis has been asked to intervene in a decade-long dispute between the cardinal-archbishop of Madrid, Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, and the association 'Santa Rita da Cascia' over the ownership of 23 Flemish tapestries from the XVI and XVII centuries estimated to be worth over 2 million euros.

    Two Spanish courts have issued opposite rulings on the case but the president of the association, Rosa Barranco, wants the pope to have the final say on the matter and has gathered 107,000 signatures in an online petition. The document has been handed over to the Vatican's Prefecture for the Economic Affairs.

    'The church's money must be used for charity', said Barranco, openly accusing the cardinal of trying to get his hands on the tapestries to decorate the cathedral of Almudena.

    The treasures instead belong to the religious association which received them as a gift in 1836 from a Spanish aristocrat, said Barraco, noting that the cardinal needs them to decorate the cathedral while her association wants them to fund charity work also to support abused women.

    Meanwhile the treasure is kept in the rooms of the royal tapestry factory to be restored with public money. Nine of the 23 tapestries have been restored already. (ANSAmed).

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