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Fortune In Lost Lire Deemed Worthless In Italy

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And today's last word in business is: lost lire.

It's the story of recovered treasure. In Italy, a call center employee made a stunning find - 100 million lire.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The banknotes were hidden away in a safe in the house she inherited from her uncle. The woman took the money worth about $70,000 to Italy central bank, only to be told that it had no value.

MONTAGNE: The lire haven't been Italy's currency since 2002 when euro notes and coins went into circulation. And it turns out that Italy's rules for redeeming old banknotes are some of the strictest in the eurozone. The last day to exchange lire banknotes was more than two years ago.

GREENE: The woman who found the loot is now awaiting her legal options, perhaps hoping Italian lawyers will still take lire.

That's the business news on MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

MONTAGNE: And I'm Renee Montagne. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.