Benevento, Italy, Fake Relics

Original Italian - Originale Italiano

The Diocese of Benevento in Italy has also been the victim of criminals in their scam to produce fradulent relics. An example of one of the false documents is shown to the left. These fakes surfaced in the year 2006.

There are two problems with the document. First of all, it appears to have been produced with a word processing program and printed on an injet printer. The date of the document is 1980, long before these types of printers were available. The second problem is the signature of the person responsible for preparing the relic and document. It is purportedly signed by Monsignor Antonio Raviele who is the current chancellor of the Benevento Diocese. Don Antonio was not even an ordained priest until 1982 and wasn't named to his current position with the diocese until 1997. There are other such documents bearing his purported signature that date to before his birth. Guido, our Italian correspondent , discovered these discrepancies and spoke by phone with Monsignor Raviele who was shocked to learn of the scam and very angry that criminals would link his good name with such a scheme. He also confirmed the dates and verified that the relics were obvious fakes.

Below the document is a photo of the relic, in a theca of recent manufacture.

At the bottom of this page is a second document purported to be from the Diocese of Benevento which is also quite likely a fake. It bears the "signature" of "Don Antonio" (Don Antonio Raviele????) which makes it quite suspicious as Father Raviele was not appointed as Chancellor in 1997 and the document shows a date of 1991.

Immediately below the bottom document is a magnified scan of the signature.

This is an example of even a knowledgable dealer being duped by professional counterfeiters.

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