Monday, December 28, 2009

Turkey Seeks the Bones of Santa Claus

Technically they want the bones of St. Nicholas, the real-life inspiration for Santa, but the intent is the same. St. Nicholas was canonized for his lifetime of acts of anonymous charity, including once climbing down a chimney to leave a bag of gold as a gift - inspiration for Santa's preferred method of ingress. The real St. Nick was buried in his native Demre, Turkey seventeen centuries ago. But when invading Arabs converted the region to Islam in the middle ages, a group of Italian sailors dug up the Christian saint's remains and took them to their hometown of Bari for safe-keeping.

The Turkish government is now considering asking Italy for the return of the remains. But even without the bones of St. Nicholas, according to the BBC, Demre is still capitalizing on being the birthplace of Santa Claus.
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