Millionaire's Thievery Ruins Priceless Books

Iranian millionaire sliced pages from valuable volumes
By Amelia Atlas,  Newser User
Posted Nov 21, 2008 2:30 PM CST
The British Library's famous dome.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – An Iranian scholar and millionaire sliced pages from extremely rare volumes at the British Library, some dating back to the 16th century, to replace missing sections in his own book collection, reports the Independent. Farhad Hakimzadeh, who pleaded guilty to theft and faces prison time, removed pages from a reported 150 volumes over the course of eight years, causing an estimated $1.5 million in damages.

"He is an expert in his field and a published author. From my point of view, that makes it worse because he actually knew the importance of what he was damaging," said the head of the library's British collection. "And a historic object, once damaged, is damaged forever."