Monday, February 04, 2013
Vatican, Israel reach historic deal on Last Supper site
A historical agreement has been signed between Israel and the Vatican, ending a 20 year dispute.
Israel has granted the pope an official seat in the room where the Last Supper is believed to have taken place, on Mount Zion in Jerusalem.
Israel did not give up its control over the room, as the Vatican had demanded, but Israel did decide to allow Vatican representatives a special modicum of control over the site.
An additional caveat of the agreement is a tax exemption that Israel will grant to all of the Vatican's institutions in Israel.
Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon and Monsignor Ettore Balestrero, Undersecretary of the Holy See for the Relations with States, sealed the deal on Tuesday.
It will be signed in June at the Vatican.
On Tuesday, Ayalon said that this is a historic achievement and a symbol that will encourage tourism.
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