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PAPAL CASH-IN ON INTERNT.

Byline: By MOIRA SHARKEY South Wales Echo

As pope John Paul II was being buried today traders were cashing in on his death. Thousands of items from memorabilia of the Pope's trip to Cardiff in 1982, to holy water which is said to have been blessed by the Pontiff and a piece of miraculous toast are being bought and sold on the internet.

As millions of people around the world mourned his passing, dealers were counting their profits.

A bottle of Holy Water which one online trader claims was blessed by Pope John Paul II 25 years ago is selling for pounds 53,000.

A signed painting is being auctioned for more than pounds 79,000, a signed photo for pounds 800 and a piece of toast which the owner claims to bear John Paul's image has a starting bid of pounds 495.

The holy water seller says it was acquired on a family vacation to the Vatican but adds that he accepts no responsibility for any damages during shipping.

The description of the 'miracle toast' reads: 'I was about to put butter on this slice of toast and eat it when I noticed there was an image of Pope John Paul II looking back at me. The Pope appears to have a happy expression on his face and is waving.' The toast went on sale yesterday.

Amidst more than 6,000 items for sale on the internet auction site eBay there is something for every purse and every taste including a copy of last weekend's Sunday Times with a feature on the Pope which can be snapped up for pounds 6.

Memorabilia from the Pope's visit to Wales is also on the market.

One dealer has advertised locally a signed photo of the Pope from the visit to Cardiff.

Train tickets to the Welsh capital and to the papal mass in Pontcanna Fields on June, 2, 1982 are being auctioned online.

The dealer, who is based in Bedford, said all money raised would go to charity.

Two American dealers are selling commemorative postcards and an official memento from John Paul II's trip to Cardiff for around pounds 4.: Top 10 Pope John Paul II collectables being auctioned on the internet.:1. Holy water which the seller claims was blessed by the Pontiff in 1980 has a starting bid of pounds 53,174.52. 2. Toast which is said to bear a miracle image of Pope John Paul II has a start bid of pounds 494.52. 3. An original signature and painting of the Pontiff is selling for pounds 79,761.78. 4. One lot of 50 Pope John Paul II memorial wristbands are on sale for pounds 199.60. 5. The bidding for the right to call your own website Pope John Paul II, or John Paul II starts at pounds 797.62. 6.A 1,000-piece Pope jigsaw puzzle costs pounds 80. 7. A bookmark has a starting bid of pounds 47.86. 8.The starting bid for a Polish phone-card with a picture of John Paul on the front is pounds 9.99. 9. The issue of the New York Post which reports on his death can be bought for pounds 5.31. 10. A Pope John Paul II snow globe is selling for pounds 9.
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Apr 8, 2005
Words:550
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