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U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a federal agency typically focused on carrying out immigration laws inside the country, announced Thursday it had delivered a recently discovered copy of a letter Christopher Columbus wrote in 1493 back to the Vatican Library. Callista Gingrich, U.S. ambassador to the Holy See, brought the letter to the Vatican for a repatriation ceremony Thursday.
“The Columbus Letter, written in 1493, is a priceless piece of cultural history. I am honored to return this remarkable letter to the Vatican Library — its rightful owner,” Gingrich said in a statement.
The article goes on to state the following:
The return of the document — estimated in 2004 to be worth $875,000 — has been years in the making since it went missing decades ago.
ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations agency was tipped off in 2011 by a researcher at the Vatican Library who said the current copy was likely forged. Agents based in Philadelphia and the U.S. attorney’s office in Delaware then untertook a seven-year effort to recover the letter. Federal agents were able to trace the original letter to Robert Parsons, an actuary in Atlanta. Parsons told them he had bought it from a rare book dealer in New York in 2004.
— ICE (@ICEgov) June 14, 2018
— ICE (@ICEgov) June 14, 2018
The United States is returning a copy of a letter by Christopher Columbus back to Vatican officials, after it had been replaced with a forged copy at the Vatican Library https://t.co/k0u1GkeGCA
— CNN International (@cnni) June 14, 2018
ICE & @TheJusticeDept returned a more than 500-yr-old copy of Christopher Columbus’ letter to #Spain at the Residence of @SpainInTheUSA. The letter, originally written in 1493, was stolen from @BiblioCatalunya & sold for approximately $1 million. https://t.co/EZQS2wDwAC pic.twitter.com/2cGuyRSyfr
— ICE (@ICEgov) June 7, 2018
U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See, @CallyGingrich, returned this morning a recovered copy of a letter written by Christopher Columbus to its rightful home at the Vatican Library. @USinHolySee #ColumbusLetter pic.twitter.com/iQKAHND4Kg
— Vatican Library (@vaticanlibrary) June 14, 2018
— KMOV (@KMOV) June 14, 2018
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