The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Wednesday, October 22, 2014


It's 'cash only' now for tourists at the Vatican; not yet complied with safeguards against money laundering
People queue to enter the Vatican Museums, at the Vatican Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013. It's "cash only" now for tourists at the Vatican wanting to pay for museum tickets, souvenirs and other services after Italy's central bank decided to block electronic payments, including credit cards, at the tiny city state. The Italian daily Corriere della Sera reported Thursday that Bank of Italy took the action because the Holy See has not yet fully complied with European Union safeguards against money laundering. That means Italian banks are not authorized to operate within the Vatican, which is in the process of improving its mechanisms to combat laundering. The Vatican says it's scrambling to find a non-Italian bank to provide the electronic payment services "quite soon" but declined to discuss Bank of Italy's concerns. The central bank had no immediate comment on the situation. AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino.

By: Frances D'Emilio, Associated Press

VATICAN CITY (AP).- It's "cash only" now for tourists at the Vatican wanting to pay for museum tickets, souvenirs and other services after Italy's central bank decided to block electronic payments, including credit cards, at the tiny city-state.

Deutsche Bank Italia, which for some 15 years had provided the Vatican with electronic payment services, said Thursday that the Bank of Italy had pulled its authorization after Dec. 31.

The Corriere della Sera newspaper reported that the Italian central bank took the action because the Holy See has not yet fully complied with European Union safeguards against money laundering. That means Italian banks are not authorized to operate within the Vatican, which is in the process of improving its mechanisms to combat laundering.

The Vatican says it is scrambling to solve the problem for thousands of visitors who flock to its very popular Vatican Museums, which include highlights like the Sistine Chapel. The Holy See had no immediate comment on the Bank of Italy's reported reasons.

Tourists in the long lines Thursday that snaked around Vatican City walls were not happy about the inconvenience.

"It's certainly a disadvantage," said Giuseppe Amoruso, an Italian. "Credit cards provide a useful service, which needs to be accessible to everybody, everywhere."

"A lot of tourists don't have cash on them, so they have to get euros and don't know where to get them," said Fluger William Hunter, an American tourist.

The central bank said a routine inspection found that Deutsche Bank Italia hadn't sought authorization when it first started providing services at the Vatican. When it finally did, the Bank of Italy turned it down because the Vatican's banking norms, including measures to combat money laundering, didn't meet Italy's more stringent criteria of recent years, a central bank official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because there was no official statement on the case.

The Vatican has been striving to upgrade its measures to detect and discourage money laundering, hiring a Swiss expert just a few months ago. Last summer, the Holy See passed a key European financial transparency test but received failing grades for its financial watchdog agency and its bank, formally called the Institute for Religious Works.

The museums, with their entrance fees and popular souvenir shops, are a big money-maker for the Vatican. Other Vatican attractions, such as tours of the Vatican's ancient underground spaces, also charge admission.

___

Giulia Saudelli from Rome contributed.


Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.





Today's News

January 4, 2013

Ancient papers discovered by chance in a cave two years ago shed light on Jewish life

Paintings hidden beneath Tudor portraits revealed through new National Portrait Gallery research

Ellsworth Kelly's series of colored paper images featured in exhibition at National Gallery of Art

Sotheby's New York Old Masters Week will be held from 29 January to 2 February 2013

Bozar Expo to present leading figures of European art: Neo Rauch, Antoine Watteau and Francis Bacon

Exhibition exploring 1,500 years of Buddhist art in Thailand opens at the Asian Civilisations Museum

From Victimage to Liberation: Works from the 1980s & 1990s by Nancy Spero opens at Galerie Lelong

Asheville Art Museum debuts two important exhibitions remembering the history of Nazi Germany

Bonhams to sell silver model of Bromley church made for renowned Kent gent

It's 'cash only' now for tourists at the Vatican; not yet complied with safeguards against money laundering

Exhibition of works spanning from 1970-2012 by Pinchas Cohen Gan on view at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art

Five free things to see and do in Lisbon: The port city on Europe's southwestern edge

Being Here: Recent work by several artists on view in group exhibition at Tim Van Laere Gallery

2013 program kicks off with cosmic light and energy show on Times Square billboards

Peru moving to protect fossils from car race

Stephen Pusey: A Way of Ending and Beginning to open at Guided By Invoices

Swedish artist Håkan Bengtsson exhibits at Galleri Lars Olsen in Copenhagen

Rare Stephen King book for auction in Maine

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Image of a Christ without a beard, short hair and wearing a toga unearthed in Spain

2.- Giant mosaic unearthed in mysterious tomb in Amphipolis in northern Macedonia

3.- Bonhams sale of 18th century French decorative arts to benefit Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

4.- Paris flustered by erection of 'sex-toy' sculpture; Paul McCarthy slapped by a passer-by

5.- High art or vile pornography? Marquis de Sade explored in Orsay museum exhibition

6.- 'Cubism: The Leonard A. Lauder Collection' opens at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

7.- Greek culture minister says Elgin Marbles return a matter of 'global heritage'

8.- Vandals deflate Paris 'sex-toy' sculpture by American artist Paul McCarthy after outrage

9.- Exhibition at National Gallery in London explores Rembrandt's final years of painting

10.- 'Hans Memling: A Flemish Renaissance' opens at the Scuderie del Quirinale in Rome



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site