The Guardian

Germany welcomes back priceless books lost in second world war

Rare manuscripts thought to have been looted from Bonn library by Belgian soldiers
One of the biggest returns of cultural items from the second world war includes a 17th-century prayer book. Photograph: Bonn University

Hundreds of priceless manuscripts and documents believed to have been looted by Belgian soldiers from a German library at the end of the second world war were returned on Thursday.

The works, which were thought to have been irretrievably lost, included rare medieval manuscripts, early 15th-century prints, historical maps and the 19th-century illustrated bird books from the library of the celebrated German ornithologist and explorer Maximilian of Wied-Neuwied.

Michael Herkenhoff, the curator of manuscripts and old books at the University and Regional Library of Bonn (ULB), described the

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

Related Interests

More from The Guardian

The Guardian5 min read
Thirty Years On, The Tiananmen Square Image That Shocked The World
Photographer Jeff Widener explains how a series of mishaps meant it was almost the picture that got away
The Guardian3 min read
'Ireland Is Changing': Booze-free Bar Opens In Dublin
The Irish writer Brendan Behan made a famous declaration that he drank only on two occasions. “When I’m thirsty and when I’m not.” Many compatriots adopted the quip as a defiant motto, an embrace of the stereotype of the boozy Irishman swaying on a b
The Guardian4 min read
Patagonia Founder Yvon Chouinard: ‘Denying Climate Change Is Evil’
The octogenarian entrepreneur, who prefers gardening to meetings, says capitalism is destroying earth