I wonder if anyone has a copy of Deligne's letter to Looijenga from 1974 mentioned as reference [26] in Bessis' paper Finite complex reflection arrangements are $K(\pi,1)$ from 2006, see http://arxiv.org/abs/math/0610777, and is willing to share it / make it publicly available.

We were recently proving some results generalizing particular aspects of things that are supposed to be proven in there, and we were asked about the historical background. Unfortunately, we cannot really provide an answer since we don't have access to the letter...

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    $\begingroup$ Why not asking Deligne, Looijenga or Bessis? $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 10, 2012 at 21:35
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    $\begingroup$ I did ask Bessis, but this wasn't successful - and I wanted to see of this letter is somewhere available before contacting Deligne or Looijenga. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 11, 2012 at 8:59
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    $\begingroup$ I got a message from Eduard Looijenga saying that he believes this letter to still exist and to possibly make it publicly available. I'll post an update here if possible. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 11, 2012 at 17:27

1 Answer 1


Eduard Looijenga provided a scanned version of the letter, which now can be found at

http://homepage.univie.ac.at/christian.stump/Deligne_Looijenga_Letter_09-03-1974.pdf (outdated)

http://homepage.rub.de/christian.stump/Deligne_Looijenga_Letter_09-03-1974.pdf (2020-01-24)

Many thanks for making it publicly available!

I also added a section on Deligne's hand-written letters to his wikipedia page, though I am not quite sure this is the right place to collect his publicly available letters.

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    $\begingroup$ I know that this is an old post, but this link now returns a 404 Not Found error, presumably because your univie.ac.at website no longer exists. Is there an updated place where this is available? (It would be wonderful if Vienna's IT people could make a permanent redirect, or just reconstitute just this one page of your site, because this link occurs in a lot of people's bibliographies. But I doubt they would do that.) $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 20, 2020 at 14:29
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    $\begingroup$ The updated link is homepage.rub.de/christian.stump/… $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 20, 2020 at 16:08
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    $\begingroup$ My account got suspended yesterday after my requested 10 year extension expired (I left Vienna in 2008). I will ask my local webspace dealer if they would be willing to give me another 10 years. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 20, 2020 at 16:09
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    $\begingroup$ in case the link breaks again at some point in the (distant) future, the letter is also archived at web.archive.org/web/20160304023010/http://homepage.univie.ac.at/… $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 24, 2020 at 18:22

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