U.S. Returns a Stolen Christopher Columbus Letter, but Mystery Remains

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tags: Christopher Columbus

This much is known: American officials returned a letter to Italy on Wednesday that was written by Christopher Columbus in 1493 on his return from the New World. The letter had been stolen from a library in Florence and then ended up as a donation to the Library of Congress in 2004.

What remain a mystery — or at least the subject of a continuing investigation — are the crucial particulars to fill in the gaps of an intriguing, international case of whodunit.

For starters, when exactly was the letter stolen, and by whom? Who made and then substituted a credible replica in its place? And how did the letter make its way in 1990 to a rare-books collector in Switzerland, who then sold it at auction two years later in New York to an anonymous buyer for $330,000?

Read entire article at NYT

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