Stolen Christopher Columbus Letter Returned to Vatican by U.S. Ambassador

Craig Bannister
By Craig Bannister | June 14, 2018 | 1:31 PM EDT

U.S. Ambassador Callista Gingrich returns stolen letter to Vatican. (Screenshot)

Callista Gingrich, U.S. ambassador to the Holy See and wife of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, returned a Christopher Columbus letter stolen from the Vatican in a ceremony in Rome Thursday.

A search by U.S. and Vatican investigators found the 1493 letter, a Latin translation of a letter by Columbus valued at $1.8 million, in the possession of an actuary living in Atlanta, Georgia, who didn’t know it was stolen when he bought it in 2004.

In Thursday’s ceremony, Gingrich gave the letter to a Vatican archivist, Fox News reports:

“The 1493 letter was described as “a priceless piece of cultural history” by Callista Gingrich, the U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See, during a handover ceremony in Vatican City on Thursday.”


“Gingrich presented the historic letter to chief Vatican archivist, Archbishop Jean-Louis Brugues, and the prefect of the library, Bishop Cesare Pasini,”

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