"Around 5,000 scholars are given permission to conduct research each year but only the Pope is allowed to take a book out of the library."
I wonder what His Holiness is fined per day for late returns?
The Vatican Library is to reopen to scholars after a three year, £7.5 million
renovation, with 21st century technology enlisted to safeguard books and
manuscripts dating back nearly 2,000 years.
Each one of the library's 70,000 books, which are stored in a bombproof bunker, has been fitted with a computer chip capable of emitting radio signals in order to prevent loss and theft.
The undertaking was in part motivated by an attempted theft by an American art history professor, who smuggled pages torn from a 14th century manuscript that once belonged to Petrarch.
He was sentenced in 1996 to 14 months in prison after admitting that he took the pages during a research visit in 1987.
The electronic chips are also designed to ensure that each priceless document remains in its proper place in the vast repository beneath the Vatican.
"In this kind of library, if a book is misplaced, it is as good as lost," said Ambrogio Piazzoni, the library's vice-prefect.
"But with this new radio frequency system of identification, it will be much easier to locate a lost book and return it to its rightful place."
Around 5,000 scholars are given permission to conduct research each year but only the Pope is allowed to take a book out of the library.Read more at www.telegraph.co.uk