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Lost & Found: Letter from Columbus


A letter home written by Christopher Columbus (the original tourist?) while on his way home from "discovering" America has been returned to its home in an Italian museum after being missing for at least 23 years.

The letter is one of several copies Columbus made, announcing his discovery. They were sent to different countries on his arrival back in Spain. Only a few copies remain, and the copy that ended up in the Ricciardini Library in Florence was apparently stolen sometime before 1994 and replaced with an elaborate fake.

The theft was discovered in 2012, when a similar theft at the National Library in Rome was discovered, and led librarians in other cities to check theirs. The Florence letter was sold at auction in 1994 to an anonymous buyer for $400,000 and donated to the Library of Congress, which has now returned it.

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The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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