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?

 

One thought on “Papyrus Thefts: Currently Missing from the Sorbonne

  1. How is it possible that Papiry are handed out to readers,without any control at all?
    It is very difficult to understand such a misuse.Something is very wrong in these libraries.

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