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Historic Columbus Letter Will Return to Italy

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Columbus Plannck LetterWILMINGTON, DELAWARE—According to a CNN report, U.S. federal authorities have recovered a copy of a letter written in Spanish by Christopher Columbus to King Ferdinand of Spain in 1493. The text of the letter was soon translated into Latin and published in Rome by a printer named Stephan Plannck. About 30 such copies of this letter are thought to have survived. This copy had been held in Italy’s Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana since about 1875, and is thought to have been stolen sometime between 1985 and 1988. It was eventually purchased by a private collector from a rare book dealer in the United States in 2003. Sewing marks from the binding helped officials to identify the document, which will be returned to Italy. This is the fourth historic copy of stolen Columbus letters to be recovered in recent years. To read about an erroneous map that Columbus used on his transatlantic voyage in 1492, go to "Reading the Invisible Ink." 

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