Saturday, June 26, 2010

More News from the Scott Trial

The trial of Raymond Scott continued this week in Newcastle. Folger librarian Richard Kuhta testified about Scott's arrival at the library with the stolen folio, noting that the man's entrance was very much a memorable one: "He was dressed in tropical clothing; he had on a kind of oversized tee shirt with a very large fish on the front, lightweight slacks and loafers with no socks and a lot of jewellery - rings and bracelets.

"He apologised for his clothing and said if he'd had time he'd have worn a suit, but that he'd just flown in from Cuba, where he had a villa.

"He said he liked to fish there and that he was a person of independent means.

"He said he'd inherited his father's construction building supplies business and had sold it and as a result he was very comfortably off.

"He said he had something to show me."

That something was a First Folio, which Scott casually pulled out of a messenger bag. Kuhta told the court he "was startled by the way in which the book was being handled and by the sudden realisation that the man seemed to know it was a first edition." When Kuhta realized that Scott had brought in the stolen Durham University folio, he said, "My heart sank. It was a feeling of sadness to think we were dealing with stolen property. The collections are what we live for, preserving them, building them, making them accessible. It is an emotional thing in our world, the loss and recovery of this precious material."

The trial resumes on Tuesday, presumably with more witnesses for the prosecution.

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