PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A little gray box sent from the Netherlands held a Geneva Bible that had been stolen along with more than 300 other items from the Oliver Room at the Carnegie Library in the 1990s.
FBI Agent Robert Jones talked about the find.
“It’s a good day for the City of Pittsburgh. As you know, in 2017, $8 million worth of rare books, atlases, maps and other items were discovered missing from the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. One of those items was this Geneva Bible,” Jones, with the FBI, said.
A former archivist at the library and a rare book dealer are accused of stealing more than $8 million of those books.
Authorities allege that 62-year-old Gregory Priore, a librarian overseeing the rare books room, stole prints, maps and rare books and handed them off to 55-year-old Caliban Book Shop co-owner John Schulman to resell them.
The 404-year-old Bible was found in the Netherlands.
“After being identified as stolen, officers from the Leiden Museum, along with the DA’s office here in Pittsburgh, the FBI in the Netherlands and the FBI in the Netherlands and the FBI art crime team arranged for the return of the Bible,” said Jones.
Investigators say the Bible is more than a piece of evidence in a case, it’s an important artifact of religious significance. Called the “Breeches Bible,” pilgrims who sailed aboard the Mayflower carried a Geneva Bible during the voyage to Massachusetts on 1620.
Pittsburgh paid about $12,000 to get the Bible back from the museum in the Netherlands. The FBI says the Geneva Bible is neither rare nor expensive, but from a historic standpoint and to have it back where it belongs at the Carnegie Library, it is priceless.