The Guardian

Germany welcomes back priceless books lost in second world war

Rare manuscripts thought to have been looted from Bonn library by Belgian soldiers
One of the biggest returns of cultural items from the second world war includes a 17th-century prayer book. Photograph: Bonn University

Hundreds of priceless manuscripts and documents believed to have been looted by Belgian soldiers from a German library at the end of the second world war were returned on Thursday.

The works, which were thought to have been irretrievably lost, included rare medieval manuscripts, early 15th-century prints, historical maps and the 19th-century illustrated bird books from the library of the celebrated German ornithologist and explorer Maximilian of Wied-Neuwied.

Michael Herkenhoff, the curator of manuscripts and old books at the University and Regional Library of Bonn (ULB), described the

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