Rare Books Stolen by Suicide Librarian Returned to Sweden

Submitted by Blake Carver (not verified) on Wed, 06/17/2015 - 18:51


Two 17th-century books stolen by an employee at the National Library of Sweden in the 1990s were returned today at a ceremony in Manhattan. Cornell University and a New York bookseller — neither of whom had knowledge of the thefts — handed the volumes over to the FBI after an investigation by the agency determined they were stolen.

The repatriation ceremony marked a small feat in the effort to return the more than 50 rare books stolen by Anders Burius, a former senior librarian of the National Library. When the investigation into the missing texts began in 2004, Burius confessed to selling or consigning them to Ketterer Kunst, an auction house in Germany. Soon after, he committed suicide and cut the gas line in his kitchen, triggering a major explosion in Stockholm — as well as a radio show and television mini-series about his life.