A flat in London that is owned by none other than the Vatican has come under controversy for the amount of "hellish noise" coming from the unit late at night.
The £30,000 per week luxury flat in question is at Hans Place in Chelsea, FT reported this week. Complaints about "loud events" with some involving DJs, have been lodged with the local council, the report notes. The unit is 9,000 square feet and houses a large garden and indoor swimming pool.
The property was bought among other luxury London properties in 2014 in a purchase that was "overseen by cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu". Becciu was the first cardinal in modern times to be charged with financial crimes by the Vatican this year.
Other investments overseen by Becciu have been "under mounting international scrutiny as a result of the allegations brought against him", the FT reports. The London flat, and other properties, are held through Jersey shell companies through a Vatican unit in charge of "charitable donations that are intended for the poor and needy".
A local resident told the Financial Times that "people at the property held noisy parties and social gatherings there", including parties that went into the early hours of the morning. As a result, neighbors lodged various complaints.
One such resident complaint cited "hellish noise" coming from the property. Another tried to go right to the source: “I have written to Apostolic Nuncio (the Vatican ambassador) but they have done nothing about this”.
“With restrictions lifting hopefully people can party in night clubs not in flats,” the local council told FT. They are still investigating the complaints, the report notes. And despite the Vatican ownership, no complaints openly suggested that any Vatican employees were present at any of the late night gatherings.
Becciu denies wrongdoing and had "no role in overseeing the rental or management of any London property owned by the Vatican".