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In the news: Rare Ptolemy Book Found in Germany



10:44 AM ET 10/13/99

 Rare Ptolemy Book Found in Germany
           FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) _ A 15th-century atlas and 10 other rare
 books that disappeared from a Polish library have been found at an
 auction house in Germany, Polish and German officials said
 Wednesday.
           Among them was a copy of astronomer Ptolemy's ``Cosmografia,''
 published in 1483 and valued at $670,000.
           The Reiss and Sohn auction house in Koenigstein an Taunus, near
 Frankfurt, confirmed that Polish experts, working with German
 prosecutors, identified the books this week.
           Library records, descriptions, microfilm and copies were used to
 identify the works, said Zbigniew Pietrzyk, director of the special
 historical collection at the Jagiellonian Library in Krakow,
 Poland.
           ``They had no doubt,'' Pietrzyk said. ``This is a great joy.''
           The books were among 51 reported missing from the Krakow library
 last April.
           The books at Reiss and Sohn had been due to be sold at auction
 Oct. 20-21. The Frankfurt prosecutors' office confiscated them last
 week to allow Polish officials to examine them.
           It was unclear how the books left the Krakow library and reached
 Germany.
           A spokesman for the Frankfurt prosecutor's office, Job Tilmann,
 said there were no plans to pursue any charges against the auction
 house.

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