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Pope Benedict's official ring cancelled

Vatican City, March 7, 2013, (IANS/AKI) : 17:45 IST
Pope Benedict XVI's gold papal ring, the symbol of his power used to officially seal documents and ensure their authenticity, has been cancelled, Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said.

Known as the Fisherman's Ring, it was due to be destroyed with a special silver hammer after Benedict's resignation Feb 28, symbolising the end of his authority.

Earlier, Claudio Franchi, the goldsmith who crafted the ring said he hoped his work would not be destroyed once the pontiff stepped down.

"I hope the ring is preserved and exhibited. It is a jewel that has so much symbolic value," Franchi said.

Benedict was the first pontiff since the 19th century to commission a Fisherman's Ring, which shows St. Peter fishing and bore the inscription "Benedictus XVI", the pope's official title in Latin.

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