Workmen discovered the bone fragment – in a red and gold wax-sealed case – during a routine collection last year.
“You can imagine our amazement when we realised our clearance teams had found bone belonging to a Pope,” said James Rubin, the company’s owner. “It’s not something you expect to see, even in our line of work.”
“We know this is an important piece of history and are keen to find the most appropriate place for its final resting place, which is why we’re asking for help from members of the public.”
Georges Kazan, a researcher at the University of Turku in Finland, told MailOnline: “It could have been stolen, it could belong to someone and been accidentally thrown out.
“If it’s authentic, it’s not the kind of thing you throw away. It looks like a nice piece, with quite a decent sized bit of bone.”
A relic discovered last year by a U.K. waste management company found a home Tuesday in London’s Westminster Cathedral.
“Choosing an appropriate resting place was very important to us,” said Enviro Waste Owner James Rubin in a statement on the company’s website. “Therefore, we think Westminster Cathedral is the best and safest place for the bone due to its importance to the church and to ensure that it won’t get lost again!”
According to tradition, Clement reigned as Pope from AD 88 to 99. He is one of the ‘Apostolic Fathers’ – theologians who personally knew some of the Twelve Apostles.