Harry Potter and the £40k lost library book: Bosses want to reclaim book that went missing years ago

Harry Potter and the £40k lost library book: Bosses want to reclaim book that went missing years ago

It's a mysterious tale about a rare book vanishing then magically reappearing – though it’s unlikely to be due to sorcery. A library is investigating after a Harry Potter first edition that disappeared from its collection almost two decades ago was auctioned in America for more than £40,000. Staff in Portsmouth are examining whether they can reclaim the hardback copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, pictured, following the sale to a buyer in Tennessee. The book was one of three original editions of JK Rowling’s debut purchased by the city’s library in 1997. Only 500 hardbacks were ever printed. In 2004, two were sold to raise extra money. It was then that staff discovered that the third was missing. Its whereabouts remained a mystery until it appeared at Heritage Auctions in Dallas, Texas, being sold by a Californian owner. A Portsmouth City Library stamp inside the book appears to be from August 1997. It went on to sell for $55,000 (£42,500), nearly three times its $20,000 estimate. Portsmouth City Council library service says the book in question was not officially checked out. Eric Bradley, Heritage Auctions’ public relations director, told the BBC: ‘If the Portsmouth library was interested in getting it back... I think it would set a precedent, because I think it would be the first time a library took a serious case to reclaim a Harry Potter book.’ The library service said: ‘Now we know the whereabouts of the book... we’re looking ...
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