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April 19, 2014

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15th-century Italian manuscript returned to Italy

Updated Monday, Jan. 27, 2014 | 9:47 a.m.

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — A 15th-century Italian manuscript that was stolen from Italy 25 years ago is being returned to that country after it was found in Florida.

Officials from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Attorney's office and the Italian Consulate in Miami spoke at a news conference about the repatriation on Monday.

The framed manuscript had been cut from a prayer book at a church in Turin. Officials said it was eventually sold to an auction house in England, then to a Florida Keys bookseller, who sold it to a St. Petersburg couple.

In 2011, a cultural officer with the Italian national police force saw a reference to the couple's manuscript. An investigation ensued. The couple did not know it was stolen and turned it over to authorities.