.- The home where Joseph Ratzinger was born in the small Bavarian town of Marktl am Inn will be turned into a museum dedicated to Pope Benedict XVI, town officials said.
The mayor of Marktl am Inn, Hubert Gschwend, announced the municipal council approved a proposal to turn the house into a museum, after the current owner of the property, Claudia Dandl, announced her intention to sell building.
The council’s decision was an effort to keep the house from being acquired by other interested parties, including an American casino that offered to pay more than $200,000 for an old car that was once owned by the Pope.
Although the first right of purchase belongs to the municipality, the market price of the house could make that economically unfeasible.
Thus, in order to protect the use of the historic house, which has become the focus of hundreds of pilgrims and visitors, the municipality established a provision that the new owner must turn it into a museum, either as a private or a public venture.
Pope Benedict was born in the 18th century home on April 16, 1927, and since his election to the papacy, the small town of 2,700 inhabitants has become a popular tourist site.