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Auction house to hand over rare John Calvin document to Gene

作者:ihpa.net 发布时间:2018-02-01

GENEVA, Oct. 11 (Xinhua) -- Global fine art broker Sotheby's is to return to authorities in Geneva an object signed by the Christian Protestant reformer John Calvin nearly 500 years ago, Swiss media reported Wednesday.

The document was believed stolen more than 100 years ago and it is to be handed over to Geneva cantonal authorities on Thursday, the Tribune de Geneve newspaper reported.

The Calvin object dates to 1553, the Tribune de Geneve said, and its worth lies more in its historical value to the Swiss French-speaking canton of Geneva than the money it can fetch.

Calvin is one of Geneva's iconic figures, and the city is sometimes referred to as the "City of Calvin."

That is due to influence that French-born theologian Calvin had on the city when Roman Catholic Christians and Protestants were pitted against each other during the period known as "The Reformation" that began 500 years ago.

The 500th anniversary of the Reformation this year is being jointly commemorated by Catholics and Protestants after the division and wars it brought to Europe in the name of religion for so many years.

Calvin is one of the persons at the center of Geneva's famed Reformation Wall.

This bears the statues of French evangelist William Farel, John Calvin, French theologian Theodore de Bèze and John Knox from Scotland, and which was erected 100 years ago.

The object was put up for sale at an auction on Dec. 5 as part of a collection of bibles belonging to the American theologian Charles Caldwell Ryrie, who died in February 2016.

The document in contention is a receipt signed by Calvin on Dec. 15, 1553, confirming he had received his salary from trustees.

It was expected to fetch bids in the range of 20,000 U.S. dollars to 30,000 U.S. dollars (19,457 Swiss francs to 29,185 Swiss francs), the website of the Swiss national broadcaster, Swissinfo reported.

Pierre Fluckiger, the archivist for the canton of Geneva, was alerted by an expert and was able to confirm the document was missing from the archives leading to Sotheby's annulling the sale, the Swiss press reported.

After a series of negotiations, the owners agreed to sell it to Geneva for an undisclosed sum.

The Tribune de Geneve said that two donors contributed the amount to buy the piece and the Calvin document will be officially handed over on Thursday by a Sotheby's representative at Geneva's town hall.

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