Boston Public Library returns historic artifacts to Italy

BOSTON — The Boston Public Library has returned three items from its Special Collections to State Archives in Italy.

On Wednesday, the library announced that it has formally returned three historic artifacts: the Mariegola della Scuola di Santa Maria della Misericordia, a medieval manuscript dating to 1392; an illuminated leaf from the manuscript Mariegola della Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista, dating from between 1418-1422; and Varii de natvralibvs rebvs libelli, a collection of works by Bernardino Telesio, published in 1590.

Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh says these items represent Italy’s rich history.

The library says these three items were legitimately purchased from well-known rare book dealers during the mid-20th century.

“Boston Public Library took action upon learning of the claims and that the provenance of these historical treasures was incomplete, and we are very pleased to report that these items are returning home to Italy after being cared for by the BPL for decades,” said David Leonard, President of the Boston Public Library.

The items have been returned to the State Archives of Venice, Italy and the Library of Ludovico II de Torres in Monreale, Italy with the help of Homeland Security, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Italian Carabinieri.