An affirmation of the modern sanctity of books, more than 14 individuals have been charged in the theft of thousands of rare books from the Girolamini Library in Naples, Italy.

Image source: The Mazzini Garibaldi Charitable Foundation

From The New York Times:

“This is the biggest books scandal to hit in the past 150 or 200 years,” said Fabrizio Govi, the president of the Italian Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association, adding that nothing of this scope had happened since the case of Count Guglielmo Libri, a 19th-century Italian collector who absconded with books on a grand scale.

Rare books admired by connoisseurs have been fetching increasingly higher prices. Last week, the Bay Psalm Book, the first book printed in English in North America, became the most expensive ever bought at auction when it sold for $14,165,000.


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