The Capital Region Police are investigating grand larceny from the estate of renowned book collector Bödvar Kvaran in Reykjavík. Dozens of valuable ancient books, documents and maps have allegedly disappeared from his estate.
Superintendent Ómar Smári Ármannsson confirmed to Fréttabladid that the investigation is ongoing but would otherwise not make any comments on this case.
The larceny was reported to police last summer and the investigation has been very extensive and complicated. Several individuals have been questioned. Some of the books have been discovered on markets of book collectors and aesthetes.
Among the books that have disappeared from the estate is a numbered copy of a translation of Peer Gynt by Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen, translated and published by national poet Einar Benediktsson in 30 copies in 1901.
Such a copy of Peer Gynt, though not the book that was stolen from the estate, was sold for ISK 570,000 (USD 9,300, EUR 6,300) during an auction at Idnó in Reykjavík on Sunday.
According to Fréttabladid, other books in Kvaran’s collection were just as valuable, so the loss amounts to ISK tens of millions (ISK 10 million = USD 163,000, EUR 111,000).