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Not far from the world headquarters of Catholicism and in a city known for its ancient and exquisite statues sits a new 13-foot-tall, gold-leaf-covered Angel Moroni.

Marking significant progress in the lengthy construction of an LDS temple in Rome, crews installed the iconic statue Saturday during a ceremony that lasted more than an hour as the crane lifted Moroni 150 feet skyward.

"The eternal city is known for its history, its beauty and as a place of worship and faith. We are so pleased to add our sacred temple to this Christian tradition," said Larry Wilson, executive director of the Temple Department for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Construction on the Rome temple began in fall 2010 and is now nearing completion. This is the first LDS temple in Rome, which surrounds the Vatican, the headquarters of the Catholic Church.

Once dedicated, this temple will join the 155 other operating Mormon temples worldwide.

Matt Canham

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