It was already in 2001 that a routine inspection carried out by the library of the University of Cambridge, in the United Kingdom, detected the disappearance of two notebooks that had belonged to Charles Darwin, one containing the drawing of the Tree of Life, whose first The sketch dates from 1837, when he returned from a trip around the world aboard a British Navy scientific ship, and from which he would publish in 1859 a more elaborate version, in the book The Origin of Species.
The last time they had been seen was in September 2000, when they had been allowed to leave the room where they were kept to be photographed. Two decades after failing, despite all efforts, to locate his whereabouts, the University of Cambridge classified this disappearance as theft.
“After an exhaustive search, the most important in the history of the library, the curators came to the conclusion that the notebooks, whose disappearance was first reported in January 2001, were probably stolen,” the institution announced on the 24th, day on which the 161st anniversary of the first publication of The Origin of Species was celebrated.
The stolen notebooks, worth millions of euros, are now on the list of stolen works sought by Interpol.