U of I curator describes thefts of rare book

U of I curator describes thefts of rare book. (MGN Online)

A curator of rare law books at the University of Illinois College of Law has described how a thief around 1980 pillaged book collections nationwide, often cutting out artwork and selling it.

Travis McDade's new book, called, "Torn from Their Bindings: A Story of Art, Science, and the Pillaging of American University Libraries." He says Robert Kindred ran "the art world equivalent of a chop shop."

McDade adds that rare books in the `70s and `80s were uniquely vulnerable, with little spent on security. Kindred and an accomplice broke into the University Library and were spotted by a maintenance man. Kindred was later sentenced to five years in prison.

Kindred spoke to the author but wouldn't offer details about the thefts.

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