The 1615 Geneva Bible came back to its original place in Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania after its theft was declared in 2017.
The 400-year old Bible was found in the Leiden American Pilgrim Museum in the Netherlands in the possession of Jeremy Dupertis Bangs, the director of the museum who took the book for the museum. He told he bought the book from “reputable dealer in antiquarian books.”
Dr. Bangs is an American historian who is living in Netherland for a decade said that he bought the book for exhibitions to be held in 2020 and 2021 in Massachusetts.
Two decades ago, archivists stole the things from Carneige Library worth $8 million along with the bible.
F.B.I. announced they have given the Bible to the office of the Allegheny Court district attorney, Stephen A. Zappala Jr., who will use the Bible as evidence.
“This Bible is more than a piece of evidence in a case. It is a priceless artifact of religious significance to people of many faiths,” said Stephen Zappala at a news conference Thursday.
Prosecutors told that archivist was Gregory Priore aged 62 walked out with the items in plain sight and afterward sold the stuff to book dealer, John Schulman,55.
The book was not in good condition rendering to being so old, some modifications were made in the 19th century, a book cover was added which read “Holy Bible-Breeches Edition.”
“These works of art hold a special place in our society. This Bible is more than a piece of evidence. It’s an important artifact of religious significance to people of many faiths,” said FBI Special Agent Robert Jones.
“One can only imagine the journey this particular Carnegie Library Bible has taken,” Mr. Jones said.
In 2018, Dr. Bangs was contacted by Pittsburgh District’s Attorney who told him the artifact may be the stolen one. After a lot of efforts, he got the legitimate permission to send the book back to Carneige Library.
The bible is also known as “Breeches Bible” because in its translation of Genesis it says that when Adam and Eve they were naked, “they sewed figge tree leaves together, and made themselves breeches.”
“The director, thank goodness, was an honest person,” Zappala said. “He contacted the Carnegie Library, then the Hague police and the FBI took it from there.”
“The more of these items that we can return to the Carnegie Library, the more we can patch the wound that was inflicted upon our community by the theft of these items,” Zappala said