British Library fury over map thief’s ‘soft sentence’

Times Online: The British Libray reacted angrily last night after a renowned American antique dealer who stole historic maps was jailed for 3.5 years and ordered to pay 1 million compensation.

Clive Field, the library’s scholarship and collections director, said it was extremely disappointed by the leniency of the sentence imposed on Edward Forbes Smiley III by a court in New Haven, Connecticut.

Smiley, from Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, stole almost 100 maps from various collections, including a world map worth 53,000 from the British Library. He cut pages from historic books with a razor blade and sold them on to private dealers or collectors.