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Over 1,000 Artifacts Valued at Millions Stolen from British Museum

Wednesday, August 23, 2023 • Tamil Comments
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A recently published document from the British Museum said that its collection is experiencing items going "missing, stolen, or damaged," resulting in the dismissal of an unspecified staff member. Imprecise estimates say it could reach into the thousands and possibly even 2,000, with a value amounting to "millions of pounds". The stolen items mainly contain "small pieces" such as gold jewellery, semi-precious stones, and glass dating from the 15th century BC through the 19th century AD. These were mostly kept in a storeroom used for academic and research purposes, with no public display recently.

The economic crime command of the Metropolitan Police is now investigating the case, while legal action has been initiated against the staff member involved in the theft, identified as senior curator Peter Higgs. Higgs, who has a high position in Greek and Mediterranean artifact expertise and has worked at the museum for almost 30 years, maintains he is not involved in any wrongdoing.

The situation suggests that, in view of the inventory gaps, the museum may not have a full idea of the extent of this theft. The handling of this case at the directorate level has been under scrutiny for alleged negligence and incompetence. An independent review on security has been instigated, led by former trustee Sir Nigel Boardman and chief constable Lucy Dorsi, who aim to recover any stolen items through an intensive program.

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