Monday, January 27, 2014

The Peculiar Underworld of Rare Book Thieves

Their world discussed on Paste.

From the piece...

Nearly as shocking was the barbarian behind it all: the library’s own director, Marino Massimo de Caro. A politically wired, self-taught book expert, De Caro and his cronies—allegedly including a lawyer and a priest—looted the library and destroyed its card catalogue to cover their tracks. De Caro even commissioned master forgeries of an ancient book by Galileo so he could swap them for the real thing at other libraries.

In the peculiar underworld of rare-book theft, De Caro joins a rogue’s gallery that features flamboyant eccentrics, disgruntled employees, corrupt academics—even a serial killer.

While the criminal personalities vary, according to the elite detectives who hunt book thieves, they all share something in common: base greed and a knack for gaining insider access to the cozy, exclusive world of rare-book collecting.

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