.- A gold ring that belonged to the late Pope John Paul II has been stolen from a religious museum in the Chilean city of Coquimbo, located 450 kilometers north of Santiago.
According to the newspaper “El Mercurio,” the ring, which was donated in October of 2000 by the Pope, was stolen when burglars broke a window and entered the Shrine of the Cross of the Third Millennium, where the museum is located.
The director of the shrine, Ramon Bravo, revealed that the thieves, believed to be a man and a woman, also stole two golden pectoral crosses that were donated by the Apostolic Nuncio to Chile, Archbishop Aldo Cavalli.
He said the stolen objects, which have a combined commercial value of $600,000, are of enormous “religious and sentimental value” to Coquimbo.
Bravo also said that after the robbery, a gold ring and a silver pectoral cross donated in 2002 by then-Cardinal Ratzinger were taken off display.
Local police officials have alerted jewelers and collectors to be on the lookout for the precious items.