Police have arrested a professor at Christ Church Oxford for allegedly stealing and selling some 120 ancient pieces of papyrus, including a piece of the Gospel of Mark.
According to Christianity Today, Dirk Obbink, professor of papyrology and Greek literature at Christ Church Oxford, is suspected of stealing the papyrus fragments from the Egypt Exploration Society’s collection at Oxford’s Sackler Library.
The collection houses some 500,000 artifacts from the ancient city of Oxyrhynchus.
Obbink has denied that he stole the ancient documents, claiming that the evidence was “fabricated in a malicious attempt to harm my reputation and career.”
Obbink first came to Oxford in the late 1990s and served as director of a project to digitize ancient pieces of papyrus. Obbink was one of three editors overseeing the publishing of the collection. In 2001, he was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship for his work in rescuing and interpreting the papers.