Papier-mâché Tiara

The papier-mâché tiara is a papal tiara that was made in exile for Pope Pius VII's papal coronation in a church in Venice. In 1798, Pope Pius's predecessor Pope Pius VI had been forced into exile when French troops invaded the Vatican and stole or destroyed all the ancient papal tiaras owned by the Holy See. When the ill Pius VI died in exile, the College of Cardinals elected Giorgio Barnaba Luigi Chiaramonti to the papacy.

A coronation was arranged for the new pope in a church in the cramped Benedictine monastery of San Giorgio on 21 March 1800. However, the church lacked a papal tiara with which to crown him. At short notice, a temporary tiara was manufactured using papier-mâché, and local aristocratic ladies donated their private jewels to decorate the new temporary crown.

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