Pope Francis' skullcap sells for $18,000

A skullcap (or zucchetto) worn by Pope Francis auctioned at Catawiki yesterday.

It made ?�12,593 ($18,190), with a portion of the proceeds going to Israeli charity Save a Child's Heart.

Pope skullcap Catawiki
It has become a tradition for the Pope to swap a skullcap with a worshipper

In recent years it has become a tradition for the Pope to swap his own zucchetto for one offered from the crowd.

In this case the Pope gave the zucchetto to the consignor, an Italian TV host. who explains: "It was June 4, 2014 when, during the general audience in St Peter's square in Rome, my eyes crossed that of Francis.

"After exchanging glances, a gesture: I exchanged my headdress with that of the Holy Father. A simple gesture, but equivalent to the Christian religion to have received a pardon.

"The magnetic effect of the object owned and worn by the Pope was immediate, so much so that the skullcap still bears today a slight sign of lipstick from a follower, who wanted to kneel and kiss the Holy Father's headgear."

After the Pope's death, items associated with him automatically become relics - a factor that drives up the value of his memorabilia.

We have a piece of the red carpet Pope Benedict XVI walked on during his 2010 visit to London.

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