DAILY CATHOLIC TUESDAY October 26, 1999 vol. 10, no. 204
NEWS & VIEWS
VATICAN HIT WITH UTILITY BILL WHILE FRESCOES HOLD UP MILLENNIUM PARKING GARAGE
ROME (CWNews.com) - The city of Rome's electricity, gas, and water utility hit the Vatican with a 44 billion lire ($24 million) utility bill on Saturday, but the Vatican said it does not owe anything.
The recently privatized ACEA utility detailed the charges in its annual report to shareholders. The Vatican has said that the Lateran Treaty, which set up the Vatican city-state while stripping the See of most of its lands, exonerates it from sewage and water charges.
ACEA chief executive office Paolo Cuccia said the foreign ministry had taken up the matter and further negotiations were due to start shortly. The city of Rome will be liable for the charges if the Holy See does not pay.
Meanwhile more buried frescoes from the Roman Empire have been discovered in the excavations for a parking garage being built for Rome's Jubilee Year celebrations, causing a potential delay.
Archeology officials in Rome confirmed on Friday that the excavation uncovered a first-century villa with walls covered in frescoes of birds and mythological creatures. The discovery of a similar room in August caused more than a month's construction delay.
The parking garage is being built to house buses for the
more than 20 million pilgrims expected to visit Rome next
year for the Jubilee 2000 celebrations. The Italian
department of the UNESCO cultural agency, which wrote to
Rome's mayor and Italy's Culture Ministry about the
frescoes, said the find must be safeguarded. A decision on
the fate of the parking garage and the frescoes is expected
later this month.
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NEWS & VIEWS