The Oldest Ukrainian Printed Book Is Stolen in Kiev

Rare book department of the National Library of Ukraine could’t account for their copy of ‘The Apostle’ — the oldest book printed in the modern borders of Ukraine.

Russian version of ‘The Apostle’ was first published by Ivan Fyodorov (Russian and Ukrainian first known printer) in 1564. The Ukrainian edition was edited in Lviv in 1574 (so-called ‘Lviv Apostle’). There were about 1000 copies printed there. Only 90 of them have survived until the 21st century and are preserved in the largest libraries of Ukraine, Russia, Poland, Bulgaria, the U.S., and some other countries.

There were five copies of the ‘Lviv Apostle’ in possession of the National Library of Ukraine. However, all of them are incomplete. Supposed value of ‘The Apostle’ exceeds 200,000 Euro.

Criminal proceedings were started, but the National Library director Volodymyr Popik declined to give any more information to the press. Oksana Blischik, spokesperson of the Chief Department of the Kiev National Police, reported, that the book was taken on the 10th of may by a person impersonating an official from a government regulatory agency. He went out for a lunch but never came back. At the end of the day librarians have checked the room where the man was «working» and found a copy of ‘The Apostle’ missing.