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Thursday, 18 July 2013

image for Extremely rare smut-fungus destroys only surviving first edition of 'The 120 Days of Sodom'
Queen Victoria's x-rated private diaries next?

Paris - The original, extremely rare first edition copy of the Marquis de Sade's notorious 1785 bodice-ripper has been completely eaten away by what curators at the Louvre Museum say is the dreaded sooty-black smut fungus Urocystis colchici.

The notorious mold has a strange penchant for pre-World War I European porn and has already destroyed all remaining original copies of the British Library's 1748 John Cleland novel The Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure, popularly known as Fanny Hill.

Last year the fungus devoured a Biblical era fore-runner of The Story of O and half a dozen indecipherable Dead Sea Scroll parchments from Qumran in the Holy Land.

A previous lethal outbreak was blamed on the destruction of the Pope's entire private Library at his summer palace Castel Gandolfo, raising plenty of eyebrows among Vatican archivists who had cataloged the books as original spiritual works.

Commenting on the de Sade tragedy a World Mycological Society specialist said the deadly spores were usually spread by sneezing by infected parties.

Queen Victoria's x-rated diaries could be next.

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