Stolen Shakespeare folio is given its day in court
By Hugh Macknight in The Independent
Saturday, 19 June 2010
A valuable Shakespeare first edition stolen from Durham university library in 1998 was displayed in public for the first time in a decade today.
The 387-year-old relic, which is at the centre of an international intrigue involving a flamboyant jobless book dealer, a cocktail waitress and a Cuban special forces commando, was carried into Newcastle Crown Court in a padlocked black plastic strongbox.
Described by experts as the most important printed work of English literature in the world, it had been missing until the book dealer, Raymond Scott, handed it to staff at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington DC asking for it to be authenticated.
Posing as a wealthy international playboy he told researchers he had been entrusted with the folio by friends in Cuba, who believed it might be valuable, the court heard.
Folger staff suspected that the folio, which had had its covers removed and had pages missing, might be stolen and contacted the British Embassy, Durham Police and the FBI. Weeks later Scott, of Wingate, County Durham, was arrested.
Full story at The Independent.
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