BOSTON (CBS/AP) — A rare map stolen from Boston Public Library more than a decade ago has been returned after turning up at a New York City antiques dealer.
Samuel de Champlain’s Carte Geographique de Nouvelle France map, compiled in 1612, was spotted in the dealer’s summer catalog by a curator from the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center, the library announced in a statement on Friday. It was selling for $285,000.
Ronald Grim made the discovery, and a third-party expert confirmed the map’s ownership, according to the statement. The map will be on display at the Central Library in Copley Square from Dec. 4 through Feb. 29, 2016.
“The library has one of the nation’s premier map collections, and I’m pleased we have restored this centuries old historic map to the collection,” Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said in the statement.
Grim noticed that the map had gone missing in 2005 from a book entitled “Les Voyages du Sieur de Champlain,” which was published in 1613 and detailed Champlain’s travels in North America. He made the discovery while inventorying maps after E. Forbes Smiley was arrested for stealing maps at Yale University in June 2005, officials say.
The curator learned that nearly 70 maps were missing from the library’s atlases and books, and 34 have been recovered.
In 2006, Smiley was sentenced in federal court in New Haven, Connecticut, to 3 1/2 years in prison after admitting he stole about 100 maps from several institutions including the New York and Boston public libraries, the Newberry Library in Chicago, the Yale and Harvard University libraries and the British Library in London.
Authorities said at the time that Smiley helped investigators recover many of the maps, stolen over eight years, including 34 that were returned to the Boston library. Federal prosecutors cited his cooperation in proposing a reduced sentence.
The Champlain engraving was not among the maps that Smiley admitted taking.
The antiques dealer, who was commissioned to sell the map on behalf of a third party, has cooperated with the library’s investigation.
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