Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


Medieval Spanish 'jewel' stolen from cathedral

A priceless 12th-century manuscript has disappeared from its vault in the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in northern Spain. Police suspect that the Codex Calixtinus, considered the "jewel" of the city, was stolen from its closely guarded archive to sell on the black market.

The Codex contains five books of sermons, writings about miracles and what is essentially a medieval travel guide to St James' Way, the pilgrimage route that ends at Santiago and promises pardon from purgatory to those who endure multiple blisters on their feet.

"This is an irreparable loss," said the deputy for cultural affairs at the Santiago de Compostela city hall, Angel Curras. "Santiago must get it back because it is the jewel of the cathedral and the city." He said the disappearance was a "premeditated heist".

Until now, the manuscript was rarely removed from its archive. Scholars were given copies to study, which were also kept in the safe.