Statement Regarding Oliver Room Theft

Updated June 19, 2020

 

We are disappointed that the sentence given to John Schulman and Greg Priore does not reflect the seriousness of the crime they committed.

Theirs was not a victimless crime. Not only were the residents of Pittsburgh robbed of valuable assets that were theirs to see, to learn about and to enjoy, but countless collectors across the globe were made unwitting participants to their fraud. In the years since the theft was discovered, neither Mr. Schulman nor Mr. Priore have expressed true remorse for their actions. The people of our city deserve better.

For more than 100 years, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh has collected the stories of the people of Pittsburgh. Unfortunately, this crime will now always be a part of our story. Our city will be forever linked to countless others across the globe who have seen their library’s rare materials stolen, cannibalized and destroyed.  While this is not the outcome our community deserved, we are however extremely grateful to the District Attorney’s Office and the team of dedicated investigators who worked tirelessly to recover a portion of our stolen historic items and vigorously prosecute those responsible for this heinous crime.

Our staff have learned a hard lesson about trust and developing a culture of confidence in and reliance upon one another to do the right thing. It had been our intention, going into the collection appraisal that ultimately uncovered this heinous crime, to begin the work of truly connecting these items to the people. We found out that these two individuals had made their own decision years ago regarding who should benefit from these materials, and it was not the people of Pittsburgh. With the resolution of this case, we can now move forward with our plans to provide access and engagement around these materials while adhering to the highest security measures possible.

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