The minister wrote in his blog on Censor.NET.
"The Apostol is one of Ukraine's first printed books. It was published in Lviv in 1574 by Ivan Fedorov. It was stolen on May 10, 2016 from the department of old printed and rare books of the Vernadskyi National Library."
"For almost a year the members of Criminal Investigation Department of the National Police in conjunction with the Department for the Protection of Cultural Property of the Security Service of Ukraine were tracing the rarity. They carried out operations to check connections of possible suspects and intermediaries, infiltrated an operative into the crime ring. We know that an attempt was made to sell the book to a Russian buyer.
"Today's large-scale interdepartmental operation produced the result: the book was retrieved. Four suspects were detained by the police in a restaurant in downtown Kyiv during an attempt to sell the stolen book," Avakov stressed.
"The 'marketeers' initially wanted to get $150,000 for the book but then agreed on $100,000. But since they have stricken a deal with the police, they will get prison terms instead of money.
"The alleged perpetrators are members of a criminal group proficient in stealing antiques for their clients. The searches are being held in their homes. Other stolen artifacts may possibly be retrieved in the course of this operation," Avakov said.
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