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Around 80 Russian books from the 19th century were stolen from Warsaw University's library

02 Nov, 2023
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Around 80 Russian books from the 19th century were stolen from Warsaw University's library

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A collection of rare 19th-century Russian books, totaling around 80 copies, was stolen from the of Warsaw's University library. The former library director suspects that they were stolen on commission for Russian auctions. This news has been reported by Polish media.

After the incident gained attention, the library director, Anna Volodko, was dismissed from her position. She reported that in mid-October, staff from the Warsaw's University library access department discovered the theft of eight volumes of 19th-century Russian publications. She noted, "One reader left empty covers and dummies at their workspace instead of the original editions from the library's collection."

Following the discovery, an analysis of 19th-century publications recently ordered for the reading room revealed that a total of 80 books had gone missing, replaced by dummies.

The former library director also noted that a similar incident recently occurred at the Latvian National Library. This has raised suspicions that these thefts are ordered, as all the stolen books are exclusively in the Russian language. Volodko pointed out that such books often appear in the offerings of auction houses and antique dealers operating in the Russian market.

In response to the situation, the university's rector, Aloiz Novak, has appointed a commission to investigate the disappearance. He has also ordered an audit of the rules and procedures for lending items from the collection for temporary use.

Furthermore, the university's rector has revoked a decision made in 2020 to relocate the reading room of the 19th-century collection to the general reading room, a move that had "resulted in numerous negative consequences in terms of overseeing the university's collections."

The police have been informed of the theft of eight books from the 19th century. This case has been handed over to the prosecutor's office, and as of now, no suspects have been detained.

The Odessa Journal

The Odessa Journal

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