SPAIN: National Heritage

Locked in the vaults of the Bank of Spain, at Madrid, some 97 aged documents have been moldering into sear yellow crinkles. Not long ago a South American republic was reported to have offered three million pesetas ($420,000) for them. Their owner, the Duke of Veragua, direct descendant of Christopher Columbus, politely declined.

All Spain became alarmed lest the Duke might some day be tempted beyond endurance to sell these documents, the so-called "Archives of Columbus," to a high, higher, highest bidder. Last week the Spanish Academy of History, acting for the Spanish...

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