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Vatican City State Celebrates 80th Anniversary

2009-04-02

To celebrate the anniversary, the Vatican City State has organized an exhibit of its artefacts and documents that cover its brief history.

One of the most important documents is the Lateran Treaty, which recognized the independence and sovereignty of the smallest country in the world.

Msgr. Renato Boccardo
Secretary of the Governatorate of Vatican City State
The Lateran Treaty recognizes the Holy See on an international level as the central government of the Catholic Church, and then Italy and the Holy See mutually recognize each other.

The exhibit includes the table and the original chairs that were used for signing the treaty.

Msgr. Renato Boccardo
Secretary of the Governatorate of Vatican City State

This is the table on which Cardinal Pietro Gasparri, who was Secretary of State, and Benito Mussolini, who was the head of the Italian government, signed the treaty documents in the Lateran Palace.

Since becoming a state, the Vatican has its own postal, telephone and electrical system. It also has its own process to apply for citizenship, which is not hereditary and cannot be claimed through birth on its soil. It depends on the work that is done in the service of the State.

Cardinals, members of pontifical councils, the Swiss Guards, and lay employees of the Vatican are the only ones who have it.

Most of the buildings are not from the Renaissance. Topographic images, architectural designs, and this giant scale model on display show exactly what is inside the Vatican walls today.

Msgr. Renato Boccardo
Secretary of the Governatorate of Vatican City State

This exhibit can help people see that there is no secret behind or inside the Vatican. More than anything, it is so people can get to know what is inside the Vatican and what happens here everyday.

The exhibit includes other artefacts, the most memorable being this tiara belonging to Pius XI, this feather cape, or this 1929 Citroen Lictoria, considered one of the first popemobiles.