A 500-year-old copy of a letter from Christopher Columbus describing his exploits in the Americas has been returned to Spain from Delaware.
WDEL-FM cites a release from Immigration and Customs Enforcement that says the 1493 letter was stolen from the National Library of Catalonia sometime before November 2005, when it was sold. The letter changed hands again in 2011, when it was sold for approximately $1 million.
Homeland Security Investigations and the Delaware U.S. attorney’s office were notified that year that several manually printed copies of the letter had been stolen from libraries across Europe and replaced with forgeries without library officials’ knowledge.
After negotiations, the person possessing the letter turned it over in 2014.
The Plannck II Columbus letter was repatriated Wednesday at the Spanish ambassador’s residence in Washington.