Bavarian police arrested Herbert Schauer, Executive Director of the German auction house Zisska, Schauer & Company KG., in connection with the theft of thousands of books from the Biblioteca Statale dei Gerolamini (State Library of Gerolamini) in Naples, as Jeevan Vasagar reported on Wednesday, August 28, 2013 in The Telegraph. The Ministry of National Heritage & Culture runs the library, which is part of the National Monument Girolamini.
According to the auction house’s own account, before Zisska & Schauer held an auction in May of last year, an intermediary offered the auction house a consignment of more than 400 books, and Zisska & Schauer included them in Catalog 59. On the eve of the auction the Bavarian State Criminal Police confiscated some of the books to be sold at auction because they were believed to have been stolen from the Library of Gerolamini, and since several of the books the police confiscated were from the consignment of over 400 books, as a precaution the auction house set aside all the books from that consignment.
Last month, Munich police arrested Executive Director Herbert Schauer on a European arrest warrant issued by Neapolitan prosecutor Giovanni Melillo. In other words, the Italian criminal justice system holds him culpable instead of considering him a dupe. His company insists this is an injustice.
The Church and Monastery of Gerolamini is across the street from what English-speakers generally call the Cathedral of Naples). The monastery was built on the site of the Palazzo Seripando, which The Oratory of St. Philip Neri received in 1586.
The Congregation of the Oratory is a preaching order rather than a teaching order, but it sponsors many schools. The Oratorians named the church and monastery complex in Naples in honor of the Church of San Girolamo della Carita in Rome, where St. Philip Neri (1515-1595) built his first Oratory. The Oratorian Fathers are sometimes called the Girolamini or Gerolamini.
The architect and sculptor Giovanni Antonio Dosio (1533–1611), a Florentine like St. Philip Neri, designed the first cloister. Visitors reach the second, larger cloister from the first. Most of the art collection formerly housed in the church sacristy is now in the second cloister, which also houses the famous library. The architect Ferdinando Fuga (1699-1782), yet another Florentine, remodeled the façade in 1780, which was common while the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies was part of the Spanish empire.
Naturally, the strengths of the monastic library are Christian scriptures, theology, and philosophy; ecclesiastical history; and sacred music. However, the collection includes books on general European history, especially Italian and Neapolitan history, secular philosophy, the Greek and Latin classics, numismatics, archeology, and early modern literature.
Unlike most monastic libraries, this one was open to the public since 1586. It is the oldest library in Naples and the second-oldest in Italy. In 1727, On the advice of Giovan Battista (Giambattista) Vico (1688-1744), a professor of rhetoric at the University of Naples and scholar at the court of King Carlo VII of Naples/Carlo V of Sicily, the Oratory Fathers purchased the library of Giuseppe Valletta, which included 17th and 18th Century works of legal, philosophical, religious, and literary interest. Vico lived around the corner from the church for twenty years.
The library is spread out over four 18th Century rooms and two modern rooms. One guidebook written before the thefts stated the collection consisted of nearly 160,000 books and pamphlets, including 120 incunabula.
After the earthquake of 1980, the library was used to house refugees, which led to a period of decline for the library. The curator of the complex, Fr. Sandro Marsano, has said that hundreds of books may have been stolen from the library. For a long time, the library was closed to the public.
For years, the church and monastery complex were closed to the public while the buildings underwent extensive repairs. Only recently did the church and library re-open.
In 2012, Lorenzo Ornaghi, Minister for National Heritage & Culture in the cabinet of Prime Minister Mario Monti from November of 2011 to April of 2013, appointed Marino Massimo De Caro Director of the Library. In March of 2012, Tomaso Montanari, Professor of Art History at the Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II (Federico II University, also known in English as the University of Naples Federico II) and a contributor to the newspaper Il Fatto Quotidiano, found empty bookshelves, and books piled haphazardly amidst fizzy drink cans and garbage strewn about.
On March 30, 2012, Professor Montanari posted a complaint on-line that the State Library of Gerolamini had been looted. Professor Montanari circulated a petition demanding that Minister Ornaghi remove De Caro from office.
On April 19, 2012, police seized control of the library and began a formal investigation of De Caro. They arrested De Caro and Fr. Marsano, and began to investigate Senator Marcello Dell’Utri and Maria Grazia Cerone in May of 2012. The prosecutor, Giovanni Melillo, charged Fr. Marsano had allowed De Caro’s confederates (“unauthorized persons, selected in advance by Massimo De Caro”) “uncontrolled access” to conservation rooms.
 Naples is the capital of Campania. The true name of this cathedral is the Cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta (the Cathedral of the Assumption of St. Mary), but many residents call it the Cattedrale di San Gennaro, a reference to the city’s patron saint, Januarius. He was the city’s bishop roughly 1,700 years ago until he was martyred during the reign of Emperor Diocletian, who instigated the last and one of the most vicious persecutions of Christians by the Romans.
 The most famous Oratorian in recent times would be John Henry Cardinal Newman (1801-1890).
 Giambattista Vico was also a jurist, historian, and political philosopher. He is best remembered for Scienza Nuova, published in 1725, which was devoted to the philosophy of history.
 In 1759, Carlo, a member of the House of Bourbon, inherited the Spanish throne and became King Carlos III of Spain. He abdicated the thrones of Naples and Sicily in favor of his third-eldest son, Ferdinand (1751-1825), who ruled as King Ferdinand IV of Naples and King Ferdinand of III of Sicily. He was deposed from the Neapolitan throne twice. In 1798, he led am army to Rome to repulse an army of the First French Republic, while General Napoleon Bonaparte was in Egypt, but when the French defeated his vanguard, he fled to the Kingdom of Sicily. The French backed the formation of the Parthenopaean Republic in January of 1799, but shortly thereafter the French troops returned to northern Italy. Ferdinand dispatched am army led by Cardinal Ruffo, which, backed by British artillery, and joined by Neapolitan aristocrats, and with the support of the Church, regained control of Naples in May of 1800. In 1805, Emperor Napoleon I deposed Ferdinand again and in 1806, Napoleon I proclaimed his elder brother, Joseph Bonaparte, King of Naples and Sicily. In reality, Ferdinand, protected by the British Royal Navy, continued to rule Sicily. In 1808, Napoleon I invaded Spain (having already made the Spanish King a prisoner in France), proclaimed Joseph the King of Spain and the Indies as Jose I, and proclaimed their brother-in-law Joachim Murat King of Naples and Sicily as King Joachim I. When Ferdinand regained control of Naples in 1816 at the end of the Napoleonic Wars and after prevailing over Murat in the Neapolitan War, he renounced the Sicilian Constitution he’d agreed to a few years earlier, and announced the unification of the two kingdoms as the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. From that point until his death, he ruled the two kingdoms as Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies. The Austrian Empire dominated this polity. Ferdinand accepted an Austrian-Irish general, Laval Graf (Count) Nugent von Westmeath (1777-1862) as commander-in-chief of his armed forces from 1817 to 1820.
 Frederick II (lived 1194-1250), King of Sicily (1198-1250), and Holy Roman Emperor (1220-1250) founded Federico II University in 1224 to educate professionals to serve in the royal government of southern Italy established by his Norman ancestors. Its most famous alumnus is Saint Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274).
 A technocrat tapped to reform the Italian economy, Monti’s cabinet was independent. Ornaghi should have been an ideal choice to serve as Culture Minister. Professor Ornaghi was Rector of Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (UCSC) – the largest Catholic university in the world – at the time he accepted the cabinet post, one of three professors Monti invited to join his cabinet at the same time. [In Continental Europe, university heads are often called rectors instead of chancellors. The title is a vestige of the days when most university students were priests or seminarians, as an Episcopalian would know from pastors being called rectors and Catholics might guess from the residences of parish priests being called rectories.] Massimo Bray became Culture Minister on April 28, 2013 in the cabinet of Prime Minister Enrico Letta, who is leading a center-left coalition.