The book, a precious atlas from 1597 with the long title “Descriptionis Ptolemaicae augmentum sice Occidentis notitia brevi commentario”, was found thanks to luck and talent. Just weeks ago, it was discovered by collaborators of the Kungliga Biblioteket that an atlas similar to the stolen one, had been found at the New York collector.

The book was sold in May of 2003, before it was discovered it had been stolen, and has changed owner several times. 50 books in total were stolen from Kungliga biblioteket at the same time, several of them were discovered after the thief was found dead in his blown up apartment.


“None of the books that he had sold however, have been found except this one,” explains Urban Rybrink, Information Officer at Kungliga biblioteket. Adding that he doesn’t think Kungliga biblioteket will get the book back, since the owner bought it in good faith. It is worth approximately $275 000, which is more money than Kungliga biblioteket can afford. “The best thing for us and for Sweden would be if the book was returned, but that will have to depend entirely on goodwill,” Rybrink says..