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Britian To Study Vatican Archives

February 9, 1998

LONDON (AP) _ British lawmakers investigating Nazi looting of gold and other assets said Monday they’ve received permission to study documents in the Vatican’s World War II archives.

``We have taken the first firm steps toward tracing the truth,″ said Lord Janner, a member of the House of Lords, who has been a leader in the search for assets plundered by the Nazis during the war.

He said legislators hope to discover what dealings the Vatican may have had with Nazi banks and whether there’s any truth to allegations that plundered Gypsy assets are still in Vatican vaults.

Janner said Archbishop Tauran, under-secretary of state for the Holy See, promised him 12 volumes of documents and told him he possibly could receive more after that.

He said the Vatican had also agreed to help the legislators trace other financial documents from banks and institutions not directly under its jurisdiction.

``They are trying to be helpful within the limits they can,″ Janner said.

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