Magazine article American Libraries

French Library Thefts Solved. (Global Briefs)

Magazine article American Libraries

French Library Thefts Solved. (Global Briefs)

Article excerpt

After a two-year investigation, police finally caught a man who had been stealing valuable materials from a locked abbey library in France. The suspect, a teacher from the Strasbourg area who was not named by police, was caught May 19 taking books from the library at Mont Sainte-Odile, originally built as a convent near the town of Saverne in the 8th century and now a popular tourist attraction.

Since August 2001 the man had apparently stolen more than 1,000 books and illuminated manuscripts, including ones bound in wood, some dating back to the 15th century. Saverne Public Prosecutor Madeleine Simoncello told the May 24 U.K. Guardian, "Quite extraordinary items were vanishing, sometimes singly, sometimes by the dozen... yet the room wasn't open to the public, and as far as we knew, nobody could get in."

But the suspect had found a secret passage that led from the library to a corridor between that building and the abbey into a workshop that is now part of the abbey's hotel. …

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