Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Map Thief Arrested - Maybe

The man suspected of stealing more than a dozen rare maps and documents from Spain's National Library has been arrested in Argentina, according to (some) media reports. The man, "60 year old César Gómez Rivero, has apparently handed himself into the authorities, and a team from the Spanish Civil Guard are report[ed] by some sources to be preparing to travel to Argentina on Friday. He was also carrying other documents which he claimed had also been taken from the Biblioteca Nacional."

Library director Milagros del Corral appeared to confirm the arrest on Wednesday, but El Pais reports on its website today that while Rivero's lawyer has been in contact with an Argentinian judge to discuss returning stolen documents in his client's possession, Rivero has not in fact surrendered. The judge apparently refused Rivero's demand that he not be arrested if he turned over the stolen materials. "We are continuing to look for him," said a Civil Guard spokesman.

Several of the items stolen by Rivero have been recovered, including one map each in Sydney and New York.