Stolen Nostradamus Manuscript Returned to Rome Library | Italy

An ancient manuscript by French astrologer Michel de Nostredame, better known as Nostradamus, stolen from a library in Rome has been returned to the Italian capital.

The manuscript, titled Nostradamus M Prophecies and dating back around 500 years, was rediscovered last year when it was offered for sale by a German auction house.

It is not known exactly when the 500-page manuscript was stolen from the center for historical studies of the Barnabite fathers in Rome, but it is thought to have been around 2007.

The book made its way through flea markets in Paris and the German city of Karlsruhe before an art dealer attempted to sell it through an auction house in Pforzheim, Baden-Württemberg, at a starting price of €12,000 (£10,200).

In April last year, investigators from Italy’s cultural heritage protection team came across the book on the auction house’s website and identified it as being from the Rome library via a stamp dated 1991 on one of the pages.

The public prosecutor in Rome contacted his counterpart in Pforzheim, who opened an investigation. German experts established that the book was an original work by Nostradamus, who was famous for his cryptic prediction of world events, and who was the one trafficked from Rome.

The manuscript was returned to the library on Wednesday.

The Italian Cultural Heritage Protection Team was established in 1969 and has recovered over 3 million stolen objects. In December 2021, the United States returned approximately 200 antiquities, including an ancient Roman sculpture that nearly ended up in the possession of Kim Kardashian West, which had been stolen and smuggled out of Italy.

The text and image caption of this article was modified on May 10, 2022. An earlier version stated that the manuscript was approximately 300 years old; we should have said almost 500 years.

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