(ANSA) - Rome, February 20 - For those interested in buying
Pope Benedict XVI souvenirs - such as rosaries, keychains and
medallions with his image on them - now is the time to do it, as
shops around the Vatican race to make new shelf space in time
for the next pope.
"We have to try and sell the items with his picture on it
at discount because in just a few weeks pilgrims and tourists
will want gifts and mementos with the new pope," said one
Some items have already become practically worthless,
explained another, such as 2014 Benedict calendars, which will
outlive the current papacy by one year and 10 months following
the official resignation of Benedict on February 28.
"It's not a real problem though since the publishers will
take them back," said a store employee.
"But for other items it is much more difficult".
Shopkeepers say sales of religious souvenirs have been down
since the onset of the global financial crisis.
And sales of Benedict souvenirs were never very good to
begin with, they say, always overshadowed by his more popular
"Out of every 10 items sold, eight have to do with John
Paul II, and two have to do with Benedict," a shopkeeper said.
"So we're looking forward to a new pope to give our
business a boost. Things have really been stagnant in this awful