Claudia Moretti discovered 100 million lire a few months ago, stashed in a safe at her uncle’s home which she had inherited following his death, Viterbo News 24 said.
The call centre worker, who lives in Pesaro on the Adriatic coast, thought she had found her fortune and went to Italy’s central bank (Banca d'Italia) to have the cash exchanged into euros.
But she was reportedly refused and told that the banknotes are now worthless. Moretti has approached lawyers to challenge the decision, fighting for precisely €51,645.69, Viterbo News 24 reported.
Ahead of adopting the euro currency on January 1st 2002, Italy’s central bank set a time limit for the exchange of the lira. Any coins or banknotes not presented to the bank before December 6th 2011 are now worthless.
Italy has the strictest time limit of all 18 eurozone countries, although Finland, France and Greece were just a year behind with a 2012 deadline. The central banks of nine eurozone countries, including Germany and Ireland, have set no limit for exchanging banknotes from the old national currency.