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Vatican austerity means donated Nativity scene

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[December 13, 2012]  VATICAN CITY (AP) -- The Vatican has happily accepted a donated Nativity scene for St. Peter's Square this Christmas after its previous euro550,000 ($717,000) setup was exposed by the embarrassing scandal over leaked Vatican documents.

Monsignor Giuseppe Sciacca, the No. 2 administrator of the Vatican city state, told reporters Thursday that the Vatican was spending just euro21,800 ($28,400) for labor and costs to mount the larger-than-life scene that will be unveiled Dec. 24. The Italian region of Basilicata -- one of Italy's poorest -- provided the scene itself after raising nearly euro90,000 ($117,000) from corporate and other sponsors.

One of the most damaging documents leaked during the so-called Vatileaks scandal was a letter from Sciacca's predecessor complaining that the Vatican was losing millions on corruption and unnecessary expenses such as the 2009 scene.

[Associated Press]

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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