Archive for February 9th, 2009

Last month in London, multi-millionaire businessman and author Farhad Hakimzadeh, 60, a Harvard- and MIT-educated American citizen of Iranian descent and the former head of the Iranian Heritage Foundation, was sentenced after pleading guilty in May, 2008, to “10 counts of theft at the British Library (with 20 additional counts taken under consideration) and four at the Bodleian, but he is believed to have defaced or destroyed as many as 150 books at both institutions by using a scalpel to remove maps and illustrations in order to ‘improve’ his own copies of the books. . . .

“The 10 items Hakimzadeh admitted to stealing from the British Library are estimated to be worth £71,000 ($104,689), but the library estimated that total costs for repairs to the damaged volumes will be much higher, and the losses of the still-missing materials have been called ‘incalculable.'”

‘“You have a deep love of books, perhaps so deep that it goes to excess,” offered British judge Peter Ader as he sentenced Hakimzadeh. (more @ Fine Books & Collections)

More recently, “A book dealer who plundered rare books valued at more than £230,000 from the private library of the Rothschild family was jailed [last week] for 28 months. David Slade, 59, admitted taking more than 30 books belonging to Sir Evelyn de Rothschild after he was hired to catalogue the family’s collection. Aylesbury crown court heard Slade stole the volumes over a four-year period from the Rothschilds’ Ascott House estate, near Wing, Buckinghamshire. He then sold them at auction.” (more @ The Guardian)



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All across Viet Nam today poets “are agog with excitement” celebrating national “Poetry Day.”

(via Saigon Giai Phong Daily)

[Display of puppets, Hanoi, December, 2006; Full photo]

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Trompe l’oeil window, Siena, Italy, September, 2004.

(Full photo)

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