Da Vinci Code fans can pay £4,000 to show innocence of the Knights Templar

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Fans of The Da Vinci Code may think that £4,000 is a small price to pay for an exclusive document that clears the good name of the mysterious Knights Templar.

The Templars were rumoured to have found the Holy Grail.

The Vatican is selling a limited edition of life-sized replicas of a giant forgotten parchment that absolves the mysterious knights of their status as heretics.

Only 799 copies of the document, which is the size of a small dinner table, will be sold for €5,900 (£3,925) each.

An 800th copy will be presented to Pope Benedict XVI.

The 300-page Processus Contra Templarios (Trial against the Templars), measuring more than two metres across, records the trial of the knights when they were accused of heresy before Pope Clement V between 1307 and 1312.

Also known as the Chinon parchment, the original artefact was discovered in the Vatican's secret archives in 2001 after it had been wrongly catalogued for more than 300 years.

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