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Gun used against Pope John Paul II flown to Poland

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March 18, 2014 02:17 PM EST | AP


ROME (AP) — Alitalia Flight 488 landed in Krakow, Poland on Tuesday with some very special cargo on board: the gun used to shoot Pope John Paul II.

Monsignor Dariusz Ras, the Polish priest who runs the John Paul II museum in the late pope's childhood home in Wadowice, transported the pistol from Rome to Poland for the museum's upcoming exhibit in honor of John Paul's April 27 canonization, Alitalia said.

Mehmet Ali Agca used the Browning HP 9mm handgun to shoot John Paul in the abdomen in St. Peter's Square on May 13, 1981. The pope spent nearly three weeks in the hospital recovering.

The weapon has been held by Rome's department of penal administration, which lent it to Ras for the three-year exhibit.

Agca was released from prison in 2010.