January 26, 2022

France: Employee Held in National Library of France (BNF) Theft

From The NY Times:

The French police have detained a low-level employee of the National Library of France in connection with the disappearance of a collection of 43 engravings by 16th-century artists valued at up to $4.4 million.

It was the second theft uncovered at the library this year, which holds more than 14 million books and other treasures, from photographs and maps to coins and medals. Earlier this summer, the library told the police that about 20 three-century-old maps had vanished from its Richelieu-Louvois branch, a 17th-century mansion in the heart of Paris that is undergoing renovation.


With the rising prices of rare books and old manuscripts, national libraries are growing increasingly concerned about thefts. In June, the French National Library participated in a conference hosted by the British Library to discuss how state institutions can protect their treasures.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.