The donation came two days before the first anniversary of the Polish pontiff’s death.
The owner of a
software company bought the house in Wadowice from American Ron
Balamuth, who had inherited it from his Polish-Jewish ancestors. The
house will continue as a John Paul II museum, which attracts some 5,000
visitors a day.
The sale price
was not disclosed, but when the house was put on the market last
December, Polish media reports put the asking price at $1 million.
foundation also took possession of the house where Pope Benedict XVI
was born, with the intention of opening it to the public as a museum on
his life. No date has been set for the opening
foundation agreed in December to buy the house in the Bavarian village
of Marktl am Inn for an undisclosed sum, beating out a Saudi sheik. It
was purchased from a German woman who complained that hordes of
tourists were making her life unbearable.
The 1745 customs
house became a police station before Joseph Ratzinger was born there on
April 16, 1927. His father was the local police commander and lived in
the building. The Ratzinger family lived there another two years before
John Paul II’s home southern Poland, where he was born in 1920, was
bought by one of Poland’s richest businessman, Ryszard Krauze, and
donated to the Catholic Church March 31.