Vendor denies sale of papal birthplace to church
31 August 2005, MARKTL, GERMANY - The owner of the two-storey house where Pope Benedict XVI was born denied Wednesday through a spokeswoman that she had reached a deal to sell it to three Catholic dioceses.
31 August 2005
MARKTL, GERMANY - The owner of the two-storey house where Pope Benedict XVI was born denied Wednesday through a spokeswoman that she had reached a deal to sell it to three Catholic dioceses.
Hubert Gschwendtner, mayor of the little town of Marktl near Germany's border with Austria, also rejected a report in a Wednesday newspaper that a sale of the site on Marktl's market square had been agreed.
The building where Joseph Ratzinger was born on April 16, 1927 has been rezoned for use as a birthplace museum.
The German newspaper Die Welt had said the Munich archdiocese and the Regensburg and Passau dioceses were the successful bidders after various tenders ranging from EUR 3 million to EUR 5 million were received.
Adelheid Utters-Adam, a spokeswoman for the Munich archdiocese, said, "We're not going to respond to speculation."
Victoria Rauh, spokeswoman for vendor Claudia Dandl, 39, said, "Mrs Dandl has not made any decision yet," and added, "She would welcome a church-linked organization buying it."
Dandl has owned the building since 1999 and has renovated it. Joseph Ratzinger was born in an apartment in the house while his father was a police officer in Marktl, near the Austrian border.
The family moved soon after to the town of Traunstein, where he spent most of his childhood. The German theologian was elected pope in April.
The town council of Marktl, population 2,700, regards the house as the cornerstone for a growing tourist trade.
Subject: German news