Friday, November 16, 2007

Spain's Foreign Ministry Library Hit by Thefts

Hot on the heels of the recent thefts at Madrid's Biblioteca Nacional comes word this week that the library of Spain's Foreign Ministry has also been targeted by thieves in recent years. A recent inventory revealed that nearly 300 "highly valued" books are missing from the collections of the library, which is open only to scholars or specialist researchers. "Among the missing items are several maps from the late 16th century, a number of large-format books, as well as a valuable collection of 18th-century maps of the coastline of northern Europe."

Most of the losses are believed to have occurred within the last four years. "Police sources say that thieves have taken advantage of poor security at the 17th-century Ministry building in Madrid that houses the collection," and authorities are investigating possible insider involvement: "One hypothesis being explored is that a Ministry employee has taken advantage of the poor security in the building to systematically steal books to sell them on the black market."

[h/t Everett Wilkie, ExLibris]

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