Sep 11 – 16, 2022
University of Warsaw
Europe/Warsaw timezone

The 1831 theft at the Bibliothèque royale

Sep 16, 2022, 9:00 AM
Old Library - Hall 115-116

Old Library - Hall 115-116


Paul Froment (Bibliothèque nationale de France)


In 1831, a group of thieves entered the Cabinet des médailles of the Bibliothèque nationale de France (then the Bibliothèque royale) and robbed an significant quantity of gold coins, medals and most of Childeric’s treasure. This was a severe loss to one of the richest collections in the world, which can still be felt nowadays: the series of Roman and Syracusan coins, medals of Louis XIV and Napoleon I suffered particular damage. Overlooked archives and a new approach to the records at hand can help assess the dimensions of the disaster suffered by the Cabinet, and improve the understanding of the making of the medallic policy during the reign of Louis XIV for example, but also, the way the theft was addressed immediately after it was committed and in the years that followed. What lessons can be learned by public institutions from the 1831 theft?

Primary author

Paul Froment (Bibliothèque nationale de France)

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