Italy's smaller museums and other cultural institutions have been facing severe threats due to lack of funds for preservation and protection. The case of the Girolamini library proves the dangerous effects of insufficient security in Italy's smaller institutions. For the past nine months, prosecutors have been investigating a well organized theft which took place in the 16th century Girolamini library in Naples in which thousands of valuable and rare antique books were plundered. Two men have been arrested thought to be involved in the theft. One man, a bookbinder from Bologna, is suspected of erasing the Girolamini imprint from the books while another is thought to be a "a runner", a middle man between the books and the customers.
Quote from The Guardian:
"In the Italy of a thousand museums and libraries (http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/libraries), our immense national heritage is vanishing … and the cultural fabric of the country is coming apart," Paolucci, a former culture minister, told the Italian daily La Stampa..."Every looted painting or plundered library is a wound to civilisation which cannot be healed – a disaster for Italy and humanity as a whole."