Santiago De Compostela
Almost a year to the day, the 12th century book, called the Codex Calixtinus which was stolen from the famous Spanish cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, has been found in a garage.
The beautifully illuminated manuscript was made by monks at the cathedral as a kind of guidebook for the first pilgrims to walk the 'Camino de Santiago' from France through Spain to the cathedral where the bones of St James lie. Originally it was five separate manuscripts before being combined into one volume in 1964. The book contains helpful information for pilgrims, praises to St James and several pieces of choral music.
The book disappeared from a locked room in early July 2011 leaving the police baffled and the custodians of the artwork, which has only been out of the cathedral twice before, distraught. The safe in which the book was kept was supposed to be covered by CCTV cameras at all times. An intensive police investigation has continued since the day the loss was discovered.
The Guardian newspaper reports on July 4 that the text was found in a nearby garage. Four people have been arrested in connection with the theft, one of whom was a handyman who had worked at the cathedral for twenty five years before being abruptly fired. The other three are the handyman's wife, his son and the son's girlfriend.
The Telegraph names the suspect as Manuel Fernandez Castineiras and say that he had been in the process of suing the cathedral for unfair dismissal when the Codex Calixtinus went missing. A police search of premises connected to the suspect found several other ancient books that had disappeared from the archive at the cathedral and over a million euros in cash.
The website Typically Spanish says that the manuscript was found at 2.40 pm on July 4 in a cardboard box inside a rubbish bag in the garage of the suspect's home. The manuscript and other items are all said to be in good condition.
Santiago de Compostela is situated in the northern Spanish province of Galicia and is considered one of the most important cathedrals in the Catholic Church. Building started in 1075 and the church was consecrated in front of King Alfonso IX in 1211. Pilgrims have been travelling here for 1,000 years and continue to do so every day.