In The Guardian today, Charlotte Higgins has a follow-up to her longer story on Professor Dirk Obbink. Apparently Professor Obbink bought an important 15th century manuscript at auction in 2014 and then sold it to “an overseas buyer” (at a loss) in an auction in 2019. Now, the British government has put an export bar on the item in order to give “UK buyers the chance to fundraise to purchase the item. A UK buyer would have to raise £168,750 by 13 April to save it for the nation.” The government views the manuscript as a heritage item, so ideally it would reside in a public museum or library, but this move by the government could, as the article notes, “lead to the unusual scenario of a civic institution raising funds from the public to acquire an item from a person who is suspected of wrongdoing.” Read the full story here.
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He got rid of this document and his castle in Texas. I wonder what else he was liquidating when he knew he was getting caught.
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