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The show

What do a medieval antiphonary, a musical composition on lute tablature and a book that contains the Our Father prayer in over 150 different languages and alphabets have in common? These, and many other printed volumes and manuscripts will be the subject of the Liber exhibition. Pages stolen and found, as part of the initiatives included in the special programming of Genoa Italian Capital of Books 2023. When you think of the illicit theft of a cultural asset you usually imagine a painting or an archaeological find, but often it is the books that, due to their rarity, physical characteristics, content and economic value they are the subject of commissioned thefts.

When it comes to known, described and cataloged specimens, the investigative action of the special Carabinieri department, assisted on a technical level by the personnel of the Archival and Bibliographic Superintendencies, allows them to be identified, recovered and returned to their legitimate owners: public libraries, state archives , cultural institutions, ecclesiastical bodies, antiquarian bookstores and collectors.

The exhibition will display a remarkable variety of printed volumes and manuscripts from the 14th century to the 20th century. Illuminated graduals and antiphonaries, archive documents, printed volumes on geographical, naturalistic or scientific topics with rich decorative apparatus, sometimes hand-watercoloured, technical works with woodcuts and chalcography which represented the manuals of the time, texts published in various languages and alphabets. There will be no shortage of volumes whose main point of interest is the elegance and preciousness of their bindings, as well as rare editions, of which a very limited number of copies are now known. It will be a special occasion to showcase highly valuable goods, usually not visible to the general public.

Timetable and tickets


Piazza Giacomo Matteotti, 9
16123 Genoa


More on the program

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Until 01 September 2024

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