Following the online auction of a grilled sandwich allegedly bearing an image of the Virgin Mary, a bar manager in Switzerland says he wants to sell a Christ-like oyster shell.

Matteo Brandi, who runs a bar in the western Swiss village of Roche, told a Swiss newspaper he came across the shell while he was opening a batch of oysters just over two years ago.

"When I tried to toss one of them away, it stuck to my hand. It wouldn't slip off my palm. Like He was calling me," Mr Brandi said.

The 38-year-old Italian, who says he is a devout Roman Catholic, is convinced the Picasso-like forms on the outside of the craggy oyster shell - held the right way up - represent the face of Christ.

The oyster, which had sat on the bar's stereo after its appearance in December 2002, is now being kept in a bank.

Brandi said he had seen the light after a Florida woman auctioned off a grilled cheese sandwich to an online casino last November for $US28,000 ($37,000).

"Today I have become conscious of its value," he said. "This piece is unique. It is the work of nature. It is neither grilled nor cooked. I shall try my luck over the internet."


Mr Brandi said he was waiting for offers, and was also thinking of telling the Vatican.

"They might be interested in it for the museum."