43) Lauer had been interested in the Sancta Sanctorum for some time, for he was preparing a history of the medieval palace of the Lateran and had attempted, unsuccessfully, to enter the chapel in 1899 and 1900.
On May 23, 1906, with the assistance of the Academie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres and the Societe des Antiquaires de France, Lauer was able to examine and photograph the chapel's reliquaries, which were then contained in the Vatican, and was also able to enter and photograph the Sancta Sanctorum and its icon.
51) In 1907, Grisar continued his scholarship on the Sancta Sanctorum with two additional articles and a monograph in Italian as well as the publication of a conference paper that he had presented at the meeting of the Gorres Society in the previous year.
What were the reasons for the rapid, almost clandestine, transfer of the relics from the Sancta Sanctorum to the Vatican?
56) Although the Law of Guarantees was never accepted by any pope, the fear that the Italian state might try to take what remained of the property of the Church may have influenced the initial opening of the Sancta Sanctorum and may have led to the hasty transfer of the chapel's relics to the Vatican just thirteen days after Grisar was allowed to view them.
69) The initial exploration of the Sancta Sanctorum, authorized by Leo XIII in 1902, therefore complimented his restoration of the Lateran basilica, the pope's church, with an investigation of the private papal chapel of the Middle Ages.
The investigation of the holy objects found within the Sancta Sanctorum moreover marks a shift in attitude toward the relics of the chapel and the precious reliquaries that contained them.
With its storehouse of some of the most precious relics in Rome, the Sancta Sanctorum would have reinforced the city's historic sanctity at a time when pilgrimage had strong economic ramifications for the papacy.
78) Leo XIII's decision to approve Jubaru's request to open the altar of the Sancta Sanctorum the year before the Jubilee of 1903 that celebrated the twenty-fifth anniversary of his pontificate may have therefore had an economic relevance to the contemporary financial situation of the papacy as well as a connection to Leo XIII's general interest in the Lateran and in projects related to the pontificate of Innocent III.
In addition to the economic situation of the papacy, the investigation of the Sancta Sanctorum must also be viewed against the backdrop of the intense division of critical methods that characterized late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century scholarship.
101) One should note that Grisar's request to view the Sancta Sanctorum was related to this very study.
102) Perhaps not surprisingly, he continued to question the reliability of specific relics in his discussion of the treasury of the Sancta Sanctorum.
In contrast to Grisar, Lauer published his findings on the Sancta Sanctorum in venues that did not have such a strong tie with the Vatican but rather were linked more closely with the French scholarly community.