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US to return 1493 Columbus Letter to Vatican

AFP  |  Vatican City 

The announced today that it will return to the Vatican a copy of a handwritten 15th-century letter by in which the explorer recounts his "discovery of America" to the Spanish royal family.

The Letter, written in 1493, will be handed back to the Vatican Library, described as the letter's "rightful home", tomorrow at 0900 GMT, according to a statement released by the to the Holy See.

The statement says that US will give the document to Jean-Louis Brugues, accompanied by officials from the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

The original Letter was translated into Latin after Spain's King and received it and several copies were distributed around The received one of these copies in 1921.

The statement says that in 2011 HSI was contacted by an expert in rare manuscripts who said the letter in the Vatican's possession was a forgery, used as a replacement in a robbery. The date of the theft is not known.

The stolen copy was tracked down to the US city of Atlanta, where it had arrived after a local man, now deceased, bought it from a book dealer in 2004, apparently unaware that it had been stolen.

It will be the third stolen letter written by Columbus returned by the DHS, with one going to a library in and the other to a library in

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, June 13 2018. 21:20 IST