Historic letter detailing Columbus voyage returned to Italy

Federal authorities say a historic, 15th-century letter describing Christopher Columbus’ voyage to the Americas has been repatriated to Italian authorities.

Officials say the document, which was stolen and later donated to the Library of Congress in 2004, was formally returned at a repatriation ceremony in Rome on Wednesday.

Federal law enforcement officials say that in 2012, special agents with the Department of Homeland Security Investigations, or HSI, received information that a “Plannck II” printed edition of the Christopher Columbus letter had been stolen from a library in Florence, Italy, and replaced with a forgery.

HSI notified Italian officials, prompting a joint American-Italian investigation that included HSI agents specializing in cultural property theft and based in Wilmington, Delaware.

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