A religious book, found in the library of the abbey in Altomuenster, southern Germany.
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It was filthy, cramped and in major disarray, but when art historian Eva Lindqvist Sandgren entered the library in Altomuenster Abbey, off-limits to all but the German monastery's nuns for more than five centuries, she immediately knew she was looking at a major treasure.Surprised by the spontaneous decision by Altomuenster's last remaining nun, Sister Apollonia Buchinger, to open the library, 20 scholars including Sandgren made plans to return and meticulously catalogue the remarkable collection.The Franciscan nun the Vatican put in charge of the abbey's closure, Sister Gabriele Konrad, says the library's collection is just being kept safe – but she has refused to grant the scholars or anyone else access to the books.Sister Gabriele and the Munich dioceses insist there is no plan to sell the books, and that their experts are perfectly qualified to handle them.Volker Schier, another expert from Arizona State University, noted that even financially insignificant books are historically important.Sister Apollonia said if the Vatican decides to give her more time in the monastery, she'd be more than happy to open the library to the scholars again.
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