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Submitted by admin on 24 Jun. 2015

“A priceless 12th-century illustrated manuscript containing what has been described as Europe's first travel guide has been stolen from the cathedral at Santiago de Compostela in northern Spain. The Codex Calixtinus, which was kept in a safe at the cathedral's archives, is thought to have been stolen by professional thieves on Sunday afternoon. Archivists did not notice its disappearance, however, until Tuesday, when the cathedral's dean was told it was missing.” (The Guardian)

Jose Maria Diaz, dean of the cathedral, called the police after carrying out a “very detailed search” with the archivist for the illuminated manuscript. He said that there was no sign of a break-in and that only three people had access to the safe. Police experts have been examining the cathedral for any evidence and reviewing the videos from five security cameras, but without success.

“Speculation about the thief/thieves includes the possibility the organized crime was involved. Because the manuscript is so well-known, it will be impossible for it to be sold on the open market. This leads to the possibility that the theft was arranged for a particular buyer. The manuscript might also be used like a type of currency, to be traded among organized crime figures, similar to expensive art.” (Medievalist.net)

“It’s like stealing the US Constitution”, a Spanish newspaper wrote. The Codex Calixtinus is one of the most precious manuscripts worldwide and belongs to the Spanish cultural heritage. It is only shown to the public on very special occasions such as the visit of Pope Benedict in Santiago de Compostela in November 2010. The Codex  was written in the 12 century for Pope Calixtus II (1119-1124). The “first pilgrim’s guide” in history contains numerous beautifully illuminated miniatures and gives advice for pilgrims following the Way of St. James to the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, Galicia.

>>> The Codex Calixtinus on Youtube

Read the whole story in The Guardian


>>> Codex Calixtinus manuscript stolen from Santiago de Compostela, by Giles Tremlett 


More press articles in English, French, Spanish and German


"Es como si robaran la Constitución de Estados Unidos" - It’s like stealing the US Constitution (La Gaceta)

>>> Unanimidad en el lamento por el robo del tesoro nacional 

"Los derechos de autor de esta obra incomparable pertenecen a toda la humanidad" - The copyright of this work belongs to mankind (El Pais)

>>> Que nos lo devuelvan

"This is an irreparable loss" (The Independent)

>>> Medieval Spanish 'jewel' stolen from cathedral, by Dale Fuchs

"A major loss for Spain’s cultural and religious heritage" (Reuters)

>>> Medieval Spanish pilgrim’s guide missing from Santiago de Compostela cathedral

„A priceless 12th century illuminated manuscript” (The Olive Press)

>>> Codex Calixtinus stolen from Santiago de Compostela Cathedra

"Une valeur inestimable" (AFP / Le Télégramme)

>>> Espagne: mystérieuse disparition d'un manuscrit du Moyen-Age à Compostelle

>>> Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle. Le Codex Calixtinus a disparu!

"Eines der wertvollsten und ältesten Bücher Spaniens" - One of the oldest and most valuable Spanish books (Neue Züricher Zeitung)

>>> Eines der wertvollsten und ältesten Bücher Spaniens gestohlen

"The jewel of the cathedral" (The Telegraph)

>>> 12th Century Spanish guidebook disappears

Juwelstück des spanischen Kulturerbes“ - The juwel of the Spanish cultural heritage (Der Standard)

>>> Spanischer Reiseführer - Mittelalterlicher Codex Calixtinus verschwunden

„Dies ist das wichtigste Buch der Geschichte Spaniens“ - The most important book in the history of Spain (Süddeutsche Zeitung)

>>> Das Buch ist dann mal weg - Der berühmte Jakobspilger-Codex der Spanier ist spurlos verschwunden. 

"The robbery of the century" (Medievalists.net)

>>> Codex Calixtinus stolen from Santiago de Compostela

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