The Current Exhibition at the Walters Art Museum in Mount Vernon is an historical mystery novel come to life. Lost and Found: The Secrets of Archimedes centers around a remarkable manuscript with a remarkable story, one that “includes a monastery in the Judaean desert, a Jewish book dealer trying to flee Paris as the Nazis closed in, a French freedom fighter and an anonymous billionaire collector.”
The book in question is a thirteenth century prayer book, unremarkable apart from its age, except that the parchment used in the construction of the book was recycled from a previous manuscript: a tenth century copy of the otherwise lost writings of third century B.C. Greek mathematician Archimedes.
Through modern imaging technology, the original content of the book has been recovered, and it is purported to demonstrate the full breadth of Archimedes mathematical genius.
You can view the pages from the manuscript and learn about its strange history at the Walters Art Museum until January 1.