Browsing All Posts filed under »Ancient Texts«

Putin Wears “Happy Smile” to Return Ancient Books to Jewish Group

June 19, 2013


There has been a long-running US-based legal conflict between Russian and the Jewish Chabad-Lubvitch movement, based in Brooklyn, over a collection of books. The group’s leader was permitted to leave the Soviet Union in 1927 but his books ended up in the hands of the Russian government in the process. The Jewish group filed and […]

Militia Destroys Ancient Libraries in Mali

September 19, 2012


I recently posted on the assault on cultural heritage in Mali. A recent article in Newsweek Magazine reports that the situation has continued to worsen. The radical, Tuareg-led militia – which calls itself Ansar Eddine – is now enforcing brutal laws including the stoning of adulterers, mutilation of thieves, and veiling of all women. As […]

Historic Document Thief Pleads Guilty in Maryland

November 3, 2011


Canadian-American Jason James Savedoff has pled guilty to conspiring to steal and sell historic documents from museums in multiple states.   He explained the thefts were committed under the leadership of Barry H. Landau, a recognized Manhattan collector.  The two were indicted last July on conspiracy and “theft of major art” charges after an employee […]

Crown Court Declares Horticultural Book Thief Guilty

June 23, 2010


William Jacques, arrested on Christmas Day in 2009 in North Yorkshire, has been deemed guilty of the theft of 13 rare books valued at £40,000.  The Southwark Crown Court found he stole the Nouvelle Iconographies des Camellias from the Royal Horticultural Society’s library in central London. Jacques was denominated the “Tome Raider” (I couldn’t make […]

Student Faces 10 Years For Theft of Abe Lincoln Letter

March 16, 2010


An 18-year-old student in New Jersey has been arrested and charged with theft of an object of cultural heritage from a museum.  The Drew University student worked at the United Methodist Archives Center on the campus and, during his tenure there, lifted 21 letters, among them: Letter from John Wesley to Father Merriweather from December […]

The Motivation Behind Book Theft

April 14, 2009


The Financial Times has published a readable synopsis of rare manuscript and book theft, including a few of the more noteworthy thieves.  The author even tells the story of witnessing the capture of a famous book thief in the Lindley Library.  See What drives people to steal precious books on Financial Times.

More to Mughal Than Meets the Eye

January 22, 2009


In keeping with our recent theme of manuscript theft, an Australian woman was caught trying to smuggle pages torn from a Mughal manuscript out of Egypt  (Notably, the majority of pages stolen by Farhad Hakimzadeh, the manuscript thief discussed on this here blog, were from Mughal manuscripts.) The Mughal Empire was an Islamic imperial power […]

Manuscript theft more profitable, less risky than car theft.

January 19, 2009


Farhad Hakimzadeh, London’s millionaire book thief reported on in the CPAL bookworm post, has been sentenced to two years in jail.  He caused an estimated $750,000 in damage by surreptitiously cutting pages out of valuable and ancient texts in the British and Bodleian Libraries with a razor blade. That works out to one year of […]

Bookworm Plays Crucial Role in Map Theft Case.

November 22, 2008


Farhad Hakimzadeh, the 60-year-old Harvard educated businessman convicted of stealing pages from British Library books, has had his sentencing postponed until January 16, 2009. Over nearly a decade, the millionaire publisher and intellectual defaced books in the private reading room in the British and Bodleian Libraries. He would cut pages out with a razor, and […]