The Case of Farhad Hakimzadeh

Last month, an Iranian-born businessman pleaded guilty to 14 counts for the theft of maps, illustrations and other pages from rare books in the British and Oxford University libraries. Farhad Hakimzadeh, 60, is believed to have taken pages from 150 books between 1997 and 2005; the number was arrived at by checking some 842 books he had consulted during that period. He apparently inserted at least some of the pages into less-valuable copies of the same books in his own collection. Sentencing is now scheduled for January; Hakimzadeh may face prison. Another 20 charges are pending, and the British Library has launched a civil action against him as well. For details, see news coverage from the Guardian, the Independent and BBC News. Via MapHist.