Restitution of 16th century book stolen from Belgium
ROME – The Carabinieri Headquarters for the Protection of Cultural Heritage (TPC) returned an important 16th century book, ‘Clarissima et Facillima in Quatuor facra Iefu Chrifti Evangelia,’ to Belgian Ambassador to Italy S.E. Dr. Frank Carruet after it was removed from the University Library of Mons in Belgium in 2005.
Fourteen years after having been stolen and being believed lost, the book was returned to the residence of the Belgian Ambassador to Italy thanks to information contained in the database of unlawfully removed cultural assets, the world's largest database of stolen artwork managed by the TPC.
The book, found in the province of Frosinone, is one of numerous books seized by the staff of the TPC in Naples, as part of an investigation aimed at identifying the recipients of goods from thefts against state libraries and national and foreign religious institutes.
The investigation has enabled the path of this and several other books to be retraced, from their theft to their commercialisation in Roman antiquarian markets, especially in Porta Portese, and also through various internet platforms, dedicated to the sale of old books.