A Spanish church has been inundated with visitors after historians revealed that they believe it to be the site of the Holy Grail.
Church curators at the San Isidro basilica in the city of León had to remove a precious cup from display after the researchers claimed it was the Holy Grail.
Last week historians published their work which concluded that an ancient chalice at the León church was the fabled cup from which Christ sipped his last drop of wine at the Last Supper.
Raquel Jaen, the director of the basilica’s museum, said the cup was taken off general display on Friday until the church can locate a new exhibition space.
Ms Jaen told AFP: “It was in a very small room where it was not possible to admire it to the full.”
Until now the cup was known as the goblet of the Infanta Dona Urraca. It was named after the daughter of Fernando I, King of León from 1037 to 1065.
The historians, León University Medieval History lecturer Margarita Torres, and Art Historian Jose Manuel Ortega del Rio, identified the cup as the grail in their book ‘Los Reyes del Grial’ (Kings of the Grail), which was published last week.
The goblet, made of agate, gold, onyx and encrusted with precious stones, is formed by two goblets joined together, with one turned up, the other down.
The historians claim that Egyptian parchments they found in 2011 at Cairo’s University of Al-Azhar set them on a three-year investigation into the whereabouts of the grail.
They found out that the cup was given to Fernando, a powerful Christian Spanish king, as a peace offering by the emir of a kingdom in the Muslim part of Spain at the time.
The research has been backed up by a scientific dating process which estimates that the cup was made between 200 BC and 100 AD.
Ms Torres said: “This is a very important discovery because it helps solve a big puzzle. We believe this could be start of a wonderful stage of research.”
Research found that the cup was indeed revered by early Christians. It was taken from a Christian community in Jerusalem to Cairo. From there it was given to an emir in Spain’s Denia.
“The only chalice that could be considered the chalice of Christ is that which made the journey to Cairo and then from Cairo to León – and that is this chalice.”