The Basilica Papale di San Paolo fuori le Mura) (Papal Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls) was founded by the Roman Emperor Constantine I. The Basilica was built over the burial place of Saint Paul, where it was said that, after the Apostle's execution, his followers erected a memorial, called a cella memoriae, over his grave. This first edifice was expanded under Valentinian I.
On December 6, 2006, it was announced that Vatican archaeologists had confirmed the presence of a white marble sarcophagus beneath the altar perhaps containing the remains of the Apostle. A press conference held on 11 December 2006 gave more details of the work of excavation, which lasted from 2002 to 22 September 2006, and which had been initiated after pilgrims to the basilica expressed disappointment that the Apostle's tomb could not be visited or touched during the Jubilee year of 2000. The sarcophagus was not extracted from its position, so that only one of its two narrow sides is visible.