The Girolamini Thefts in the Press: Tale of Big International Book Theft Gets a New Chapter
“Any American book collector who recently bought an Italian book from the 15th to the 17th centuries should take another look at the purchase. If it bears a red library stamp with a Madonna in the center, the collector may get a visit from U.S. Customs agents assigned to recover stolen artworks.”
The Washington Times summarizes the recent news concerning the thefts from the Girolamini Library in Naples, which the newspaper calls “the biggest book thefts in history”.
In May the library’s director Marino Massimo de Caro and four accomplices were arrested, 1000 books (of the 1500 at that time considered missing) were found in storage in Verona. Now the Italian press reports that over 4000 books must have been stolen. In an article “Thief Ravaged Book Heritage” the Corriere della Sera described how the books were taken away from the Girolamini Library at night. Chief investigator Col Raffaele Mancino called the Library ““a sacred place, at least for bibliophiles, in particular because it conserves priceless scientific works.”
“The total number of detainees is now eight, including the library’s curator, Father Sandro Marsano, who is from the church and monastery of which the library is a part. Father Marsano is alleged to have permitted the thefts.”