Nearly 20 years ago, a nun discovered that two Michelangelo documents had gone missing from Vatican archives. One was a letter signed by the Renaissance legend himself.
Until recently, what happened to the historical artifacts remained a mystery. But Vatican officials have now confirmed that the documents were stolen, and that they had just received ransom demands.
The Italian publication Il Messaggero reported that a former Vatican employee contacted a cardinal and demanded about 100,000 Euros for the documents' return. A Vatican spokesman said the cardinal declined.
Vatican police are working with Italian officials to investigate the crime.
Michelangelo was a major figure in Catholic artwork. He painted the Sistine Chapel and designed portions of St. Peter's Basilica. The archives contain myriad documents about the Basilica and Michelangelo's contributions.