Suspect charged in Shakespeare First Folio Theft

January 28, 2009 18:42


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British police charged a book dealer Wednesday with stealing a rare First Folio of Shakespeare's plays from a university library a decade ago. Police in Durham in northeast England say the 1623 volume is worth about 3 million pounds ($4.2 million). It was among seven centuries-old books and manuscripts stolen from a display case at Durham University library in 1998. The book was recovered after a man walked into the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington D.C. last June and asked for its authenticity to be checked. Library staff contacted police, who traced the man who had brought in the book and arrested Raymond Scott, 51, a book and antiques dealer from the Durham area. Scott was charged with theft of the folio and with four other counts of theft and handling stolen goods. The folio, which scholars consider one of the most important printed books in the English language, returned in October to Durham University, where police say it is being kept "under lock and key."

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