Stolen Letter About Christopher Columbus' Voyage Returns to Italy | NBC 10 Philadelphia

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Stolen Letter About Christopher Columbus' Voyage Returns to Italy



    A reprinted copy of Christopher Columbus original letter written in 1493 about the discovery of the New World is displayed during a press conference in Rome, Wednesday, May 18, 2016. The United States has returned to Italy a letter written by Christopher Columbus in 1493 about his discovery of the New World that was stolen from a Florence library and unwittingly acquired by the Library of Congress. (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis)

    Federal authorities say a historic, 15th-century letter describing Christopher Columbus' voyage to the Americas has been repatriated to Italian authorities.

    Officials say the document, which was stolen and later donated to the Library of Congress in 2004, was formally returned at a repatriation ceremony in Rome on Wednesday.

    Federal law enforcement officials say that in 2012, special agents with the Department of Homeland Security Investigations, or HSI, received information that a "Plannck II" printed edition of the Christopher Columbus letter had been stolen from a library in Florence, Italy, and replaced with a forgery.

    HSI notified Italian officials, prompting a joint American-Italian investigation that included HSI agents specializing in cultural property theft and based in Wilmington, Delaware.