Papyrus Thefts: Currently Missing from the Sorbonne

As allegations about Dirk Obbink are causing reactions throughout academe for the past while (I do have a blog post in progress on this; stay tuned), and especially in light of Eidolon’s recent issue devoted to papyrus thefts, it seems timely to bring up a conversation I’ve been having over the past couple of weeks. Prof Jean Gascou contacted me because I had mentioned a fragment of Euripides’ ‘Phoenician Women’  in conjunction with items which were being displayed frequently by Scott Carroll. Prof Gascou was wondering whether it might be a fragment of the Phoinissae that had gone missing from the Sorbonne’s collection sometime between 1965 (the last time the papyrus was seen ) and 1986 (when Prof Alain Blanchard discovered it was missing). Over the course of the conversation, Dr Gascou revealed that a number of papyri were missing from the Sorbonne’s collection and with the permission of the current directrice de l’Institut de papyrologie de Sorbonne Université (Hélène Cuvigny) here is a list of those items, with some identifying details:

  • Inv.Sorb. 385 (Magdôla) = Peut-être littéraire (mention de Chrysippos) – perte constatée en 1976
  • Inv.Sorb. 510 (Ghôran) = fr. peut-être littéraires – perte constatée en 1980
  • Inv.Sorb. 2151 (Reinach) = formulaire magique – perte constatée en 1991
  • Inv.Sorb. 2172 (Reinach) = Hexamètres astronomiques ou astrologiques (perdu, mais nous conservons toujours une copie de Papathomopoulos) – perte constatée en 1991
  • Inv.Sorb. 2177 (Reinach) = littéraire (historique ?) – perte constatée en 1991
  • Inv.Sorb. 2179 (Reinach) = littéraire (biblique ?) – perte constatée en 1991
  • Inv.Sorb. 2280 (de La Haye – Nahmann) = fr. sûrement littéraire – perte constatée par moi-même (11/2012)
  • Inv.Sorb. 2289 (Reinach) = mot carré – perte constatée en 1991
  • Inv.Sorb. 2295 (Ghôran) = Homère, Iliade, XVIII, ca. 450 – perte constatée en 1989
  • Inv.Sorb. 2347 (Ghôran) = Euripide, Phénicienne, v. 31 sqq. – perte constatée en 1986

Perhaps someone out there has come across one or more of these items? Perhaps other collections want to publicize what is missing from their collections?