Germany: Book lost in World War II returns home

The volume contained hundreds of rare manuscripts and was stolen from a German library by Belgian soldiers.

A book with more than 600 medieval manuscripts, including early 15th-century engravings, historical maps and illustrations of birds which once belonged to the famous German ornithologist and explorer Maximilian of Wied-Neuwied, was allegedly stolen by Belgian soldiers from a German library at the end of World War II. More than seven decades later, a Belgian citizen donated the book and a team of experts immediately realized it was the lost volume. According to The Guardian, this is one of the largest returns of cultural objects stolen during the war.

"We need to clean many of the works, and to repair and catalog them anew, but this is a luxury challenge to have because we really never thought we would see these volumes again," said Michael Herkenhoff, the curator of manuscripts and old books at the University and Regional Library of Bonn According to the expert, finding the book was "a huge surprise".

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