A 525-year-old copy of a letter by Christopher Columbus, stolen from the Vatican, was returned this week. An investigation by the United States Department of Homeland Security and the Vatican located the letter.
We are returning it to its rightful owner, said U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, Callista Gingrich, at a ceremony in the Vatican Library.
Columbus wrote the letter to the king and queen of Spain after discovering "The New World." He described what he had found and requested money for another trip.
His original letter was written in Spanish. But several copies of a Latin translation were made to spread news of his discovery to the royal courts of Europe and the Pope.
One of the Latin letters, copied by Stephan Plannack in 1493, was put in the Vatican Library. Known as the Columbus Letter, it has eight pages, each about 18.5 cm by 12 cm.
In 2011, an American expert in rare manuscripts received a similar looking letter. After reviewing it, he decided that it was real.
The year before, the same expert had studied a Columbus Letter in the Vatican Library and suspected that it was a fake. One reason was that the stitching marks on the letter were not the same as those on the cover.
The letter in the United States, however, had the exact same stitching marks as the leather cover of the fake letter he had studied in the Vatican.
The expert, who was not identified, contacted Homeland Security art investigators, who began working with Vatican inspectors and rare book experts.
They believed that someone took the real letter out of its cover at the Vatican Library and replaced it with a fake one.
Archbishop Jean-Louis Brugues is the Vatican's chief librarian. He said, We do not know exactly when the substitution took place. We will probably never know who the forger was.
Their investigations found that Marino Massimo De Caro, a well known Italian book thief, had sold the real letter to a New York book dealer.
De Caro is serving a seven-year prison sentence in Italy for stealing about 4,000 ancient books and manuscripts from Italian libraries and private collections.
The late collector David Parsons bought the letter for $875,000 in 2004. After the investigations, his widow agreed to return the letter to the Vatican Library.
Officials said the letter is now worth about $1.2 million.
I'm Mario Ritter.
1.return sth to sb 将……还给……
One day you see the dog escape and return it to her.
2.the New World 新大陆
It was a huge celebration for a hard-earned harvest in the first year after the first group of immigrants arriving in the New World.
3.the same as 跟……一样
I deal with people there, the same as what I would do here.
4.begin doing sth 开始做某事
I still got up at 5am this morning, and then I'll begin doing the naps every 4 hours starting this afternoon.
5. who began working with Vatican inspectors and rare book experts.
work with 与……合作/共事
You have to work with him.
No one wants to work with someone like that.
6.After the investigations, his widow agreed to return the letter to the Vatican Library.
agree to do sth 同意做某事
If it is a stock (or other security, including a bond), you can borrow it and agree to sell the stock to someone at some specified date in the future at a specified price.
Imagine your neighbour asks you to water their plants while they're on holiday Socially, it looks good for you if you agree to do it.
525年前，克里斯多弗 哥伦布(Christopher Columbus)写了一封信
我们准备将这份手书物归原主，美国驻梵蒂冈大使卡莉丝塔 金瑞契(Callista Gingrich)在梵蒂冈宗座图书馆的一个仪式上如是说道 。
哥伦比亚在发现了“新大陆”后就向西班牙国王和王后写信 。他描述了自己的发现成果，并请求资金支持，让他可以开启另一次旅行 。
其中一份拉丁语副本于1493年为史蒂芬(Stephan Plannack誊抄，随后放置在了梵蒂冈宗座图书馆 。这封家喻户晓的信也作《哥伦布书简》，共8页，每页长18.5厘米，宽12厘米 。
2011年，一位美国专家在稀有的书稿中发现了一封十分相似的手书 。在检查后，他断定这封信是真手书 。
而就在2010年，这位专家曾在梵蒂冈宗座图书馆研究过《哥伦布书简》，并猜测这封手书是假的 。其中一个原因是信上的线迹跟封皮上的不一致 。
这位无名氏专家随即联系美国国土安全部的艺术侦查员 。后者便开始与梵蒂冈的检查员和为数不多的书籍专家合作 。
大主教布鲁格斯(Jean-Louis Brugues)是梵蒂冈的图书馆馆长 。他表示，我们不知道以假换真是什么时候发生的事 。我们可能永远也抓不到真凶 。
他们经过调查发现，马里诺(Marino Massimo De Caro)这个知名的意大利偷书贼将真信卖给了纽约的一个书商 。
2004年，已故收藏夹大卫(David Parsons)以87.5万美元的价格购得这封信 。在真相大白后，大卫尚在世的妻子同意将这封信归还给梵蒂冈宗座图书馆 。
马里奥 里特为您播报 。