Urban Legends

The Vatican Porn Collection

The Legend

The Vatican (a big religious place in Vatican City) holds the world's largest collection of pornography.

Behind the Legend

There have been a number of rumors concerning who exactly has the largest collection of pornography on the planet. At one time Paul "Pee Wee Herman" Rubens was a contender, but his collection was confiscated by the government and incinerated en masse after a photo of a teenage boy standing next to a topless statue of Justice was found among the first editions and Degas sketches. It has also been rumored that Hugh Hefner has an enormous porn collection but, says Hef with unusual tact, "Why buy a painting of a cow when you own a farm?"

Which leaves the Vatican.

The Vatican's enormous pornography collection is housed in a secret labyrinth of catacombs beneath the library proper. Access is limited to serious scholars, research scientists, and priests. There are literally millions of documents in the collection, including original scrolls and manuscripts, paintings, vases, grainy films, rumpled magazines, and piles of video tapes in formats going all the way back to Beta.

Because the collection contains items that are thousands of years old, some of them are not quite as pornographic as modern people (mostly men) might hope. For example, the third-century painting, "Woman with Only One Layer of Clothing" probably wouldn't do much for a modern male who was not going through puberty at the time.

Some of the more notable items in the collection:

  • Euclid's The Joy of Multiplication
  • Diomedes' Gramattica Nautius
  • Michelangelo's "Moaning Lisa"
  • A handwritten receipt issued by Mary Magdeline
  • The one surviving illuminated manuscript version of The Story of "O"
  • Pilate's "little black scroll"
  • John Dillinger's pickled penis

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