Stolen 17th century Shakespeare edition recovered

July 12th, 2008 - 6:40 pm ICT by IANS  

London, July 12 (Xinhua) A 400-year-old compilation of works by William Shakespeare that was stolen 10 years ago has been recovered, police in Durham said. Commonly known as the First Folio, the volume, printed in 1623, was recovered Friday.

It was compiled seven years after the death of the playwright and is an original source of information without which there would not have been much of Shakespeare. It is valued at some $30 million.

The edition, together with six other centuries-old books and manuscripts, was stolen in December 1998 from a display case at the Durham University library.

No trace of the stolen works could be found during the past decade till last month, when a man brought the First Folio to Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington and asked to have it verified as genuine.

The man, who called himself a businessman, said he bought the volume in Cuba.

Investigators later confirmed that it was the one stolen in 1998 and the clues led to a 51-year-old man in the English town of Washington, near Durham, Thursday.

The suspect was being questioned as detectives searched his home.

Some 750 copies were printed but only about 40 complete copies are known to exist.

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