A luxury £30,000-a-week apartment in central London owned by the Vatican has become the subject of complaints from locals about what they claim is “hell noise” from late-night gatherings.
Some residents of Hans Place in Chelsea, one of London’s most expensive addresses, have complained to the local council and even the ambassador of the Holy See in the UK about the rowdy events, some featuring DJs, that were held at the Vatican Hotel.
Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Piccio oversaw the purchase of the apartment and several other luxury properties in London in 2014, which this month became the first Cardinal of the modern era. Accused of financial crimes from the Vatican.
The property is maintained through the Jersey shell companies by the unit of the Holy See which is responsible for the so-called charitable giving of Peters Pence intended for the poor and needy. Investments that Becciu oversees using these funds have come under increasing international scrutiny as a result of allegations made against him and several other Vatican officials.
The 9,000 square foot unoccupied triplex condo in Hans Place features a large garden and indoor pool installed as part of a multi-million pound renovation. It is currently advertised for rent for £30,000 a week on behalf of the company that runs it for the Holy See.
The company that manages the property, which has had several tenants over the past year, said it was not on short-term leases and it was normal in the London property market that rents were priced at a weekly rate.
A resident who lives nearby, who asked not to be named, said neighbors have raised various complaints, including to the council, after some people on the property held noisy parties and social gatherings there, including one that lasted until the early hours of the morning. This is possible.
In correspondence seen by the Financial Times between residents and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea that complained of “infernal noise”, a council member said the town’s “Noise and Disturb” team recently wrote to a Jersey-founded company through which the Vatican owns the property.
The board was looking into the complaints, according to correspondence seen by the Financial Times last month. “With restrictions lifted, we hope people can party in nightclubs and not in apartments,” the council member wrote in an email sent to residents this month.
A local resident said he was so frustrated that he complained to the Vatican’s ambassador to the UK. “I wrote to the Apostolic Nuncio (the Vatican ambassador) but they did nothing about it.”
The office of the UK ambassador to the Vatican responded to the complaint in an email in which it hoped “action with the local authority” would be taken and others would help resolve the urgent issue.
None of the complainants indicated that any Vatican employee was present at any of the late-night gatherings in the apartment.
The Vatican’s indictment of Picchio and nine others in the first week of July marked a major acceleration in the accusations of Pope Francis. drive for reform Holy See Finance.
Bessio, who was once one of the most powerful clergy in the Vatican, denies any wrongdoing. He defended the investments in prime London real estate made by the Holy See unit he oversaw, saying it was a normal and responsible use of the Vatican’s assets.
Becciu had no role in supervising the rental or management of any property in London owned by the Vatican.
The company that manages the Vatican properties has not been accused of any wrongdoing. Her spokesperson said she had been informed of a few neighbors’ concerns about noise, lights and disturbance, which she had appropriately investigated, and that she “doesn’t expect any recurrence of any problems.”