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Rare 19th-century books 'stolen' from Polish library

By AFP

November 1, 2023 12:05 PM


Representational image

The University of Warsaw said on Tuesday it had discovered the theft of scores of valuable books from its library, prompting the authorities to sack the library director on oversight concerns.

In a statement, the university said "staffing decisions" were linked to "the theft of several dozen objects" from the library.

The university authorities also said a newly set up commission would be mandated to "clarify" the situation and an audit of the "rules and procedures for lending collections" had been ordered.

The university did not reveal which items had gone missing nor did it specify their estimated worth.

But the sacked director on Tuesday said the theft, first discovered earlier this month, involved "Russian publications from the 19th century".

"One of the readers left blank covers and copies in place of original publications," Anna Wolodko said in a statement on social media, adding that around 80 books are now believed to have been stolen.

"We suspect that the thefts are done on request. All stolen publications are in Russian," Wolodko added.

"This type of works pops up in the offers of auction houses and antique shops operating on the Russian market," she said, adding that the value of the stolen items was "very difficult" to estimate.

She also said that the library had reported the theft to police and took "all available measures" to investigate the incident.


AFP


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