Friday, January 19, 2007

Stolen Torah Returned to France

By way of followup to a brief mention back in August: Israel's Arutz Sheva reports that a thirteenth-century manuscript Torah stolen from the Bibliotheque Nationale by a former curator has been returned to France following a January 3 ruling by the New York State Supreme Court (sorry I'm a little behind the eight-ball on this story).

The former curator - Michel Garel - had sold the manuscript (through Christie's) to collector Yosef Goldman; when Garel was convicted of the theft, the Bibliotheque Nationale sued Goldman to recover the document. Goldman, in turn, sued Christie's for a refund of the money he paid.

"After complex negotiations between French officials, Christie’s and Goldman, the manuscript was returned to the library, and Goldman received a refund. Library officials said that Goldman purchased the manuscript in good faith and had already resold it when its theft was discovered. France also reportedly agreed to cover some of Goldman’s legal expenses."

(h/t Shelf:Life)