Friday, April 17, 2020

An arrest regarding theft of papyri in Oxford

THE LATEST ON THE MISSING OXYRHYNCHUS PAPYRI SCANDAL: Oxford professor arrested on suspicion of ancient papyrus theft. Dirk Obbink called claim about bible fragments a ‘malicious attempt’ to harm his career (Vikram Dodd, The Guardian). HT Elijah Hixson at the ETC Blog.

The story was broken by the Oxford student newspaper, The Oxford Blue: EXCLUSIVE: Christ Church professor arrested over scandal of stolen papyrus. HT Brent Nongbri at the Variant Readings Blog.

According to the Oxford Blue article, Professor Obbink was arrested on 2 March. The only source they give is a quotation from the Thames Valley Police which does not mention a name. It does, however, mention the age of the man arrested and it refers to an investigation of "a report of theft of papyrus from the Sackler Library in Oxford." That man was released "under investigation." It is not clear to me whether the Guardian article has any information about the arrest independent of the Oxford Blue article.

I note the story for information. I have no independent knowledge about it. You can decide what to make of it.

Earlier PaleoJudaica posts on this convoluted scandal are here and links.

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