Written by CNBC, China Global Television Network
On the evening of April 5, 2019 Pope Sixtus IV was murdered. It is suspected that multiple parties had plotted to kill the Pope, and their various assassination attempts finally took their toll.
The Pope was first offered a poisoned painting which was said to have been commissioned by the Pope himself, however this assassination attempt was foiled when the official gallery curator for the Pope pointed out that all of the Sistine Chapel’s art is commissioned exclusively by Francisco de Borgia. The art was analyzed and the inspector, upon finding poisoned dust on the painting’s canvas, removed the painting and those delivering it from the premises.
Several minutes later, the Pope was offered a cup of poisoned wine, which he drank but seemingly survived.
Another several minutes later, the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel collapsed. The Pope miraculously survived this accident as well, after one of his followers pushed him out of the way, tackling him to the ground to keep him safe.
While the Pope was incapacitated due to the collapse of the ceiling, he was attacked by two assailants who repeatedly stabbed him and ultimately took his life.
The Pope’s sudden death leaves a lucrative gap for members of both the Medici and Borgia families. His position is now open for election, and both sides will attempt to wield their power to capture additional influence.
The Medici family currently holds six cardinal positions, while the Borgias hold ten. As the appointment of the new Pope is in progress, the yet excommunicated Medicis will continue to assert their unsteady power and seek to regain the upper hand. The Borgias are expected to do the same, and there may be future shifting of loyalties in the remainder of the Cardinal cabinet according to the persuasion or lack of persuasion from both sides.
The future of the Medici and Borgia families depends largely on this development. We will continue reporting on the effects of the Pope’s death and Italy’s future in his absence.