Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has announced that he will be selling his private collection of prostitutes' calling cards, which he has been collecting from phoneboxes in major European cities over the past decade.
Thought to be the most comprehensive collection of cards ever assembled by a private individual, their 'exhaustive' use is thought to have cost his country 81 billion euro since he came to power.
British auctioneers Christies, who were selected to present the London volume of the Berlusconi collection, have been overwhelmed by the public interest in the material.
The pre-sales catalogue alone has now been reprinted 34 times, principally because of the detailed maps that accompany it.
'They show London at a level of detail that has never been attempted before. Alleyways, carparks, the tunnel between Downing St and Oddbins - a whole range of public recreation spaces which have never been presented like this before. Even the mapmakers at A-Z admitted that the Italian's knowledge of the city made them look like rank amateurs', said a press officer for the auction house.
Experienced London cabbies were also quick to show their admiration for the former Italian premier's familiarity with London. 'I only had a quick shufti through the catalogue, and it's gone and rewired my brain', said one veteran driver.
Carefully worded testimonials of the individual cards' authenticity, collected over the years, have been provided to Christies by the Chief Whips of the major political parties and Liberal Democrats alike.
Together with alibis and misremembrances of former MPs, current Peers, and indeed the wider kerbcrawling public, the collection's authenticity and provenance is now confirmed beyond any doubt.
Of particular interest to both amateur card collectors and professional philanders is the elusive 'Black Angela', of which only 27 have ever been printed.
Privately delivered to all the European leaders rather than being released to the wider public, the Black Angela is the rarest card of the collection.
British Prime Minister David Cameron can confirm that he has received the Black Angela issued to the UK. His will not be put on display, and, while details surrounding its whereabouts remain confidential for now, sources close to the cabinet report that Deputy PM Nick Clegg was seen writing the phone number on the back of his hand at the first opportunity.
And while neither man is a stranger to European Brussels, it is only Mr Cameron who has repeatedly rejected any offers to 'work closely' on 'private' issues of European debt bondage with the strict fiscal displinarian.
And so, as the collection goes to auction, the elusive Black Angela continues to fascinate its admirers, and to hold its incredibly high value. Not just for its rarity, but also for the fact that it is the only card in the collection that has not been used.
At least, not yet.
The auction will take place next Thursday.