Home News British Museum Calls on the Public to Aid in Recovering Stolen Artifacts

British Museum Calls on the Public to Aid in Recovering Stolen Artifacts

by Madonna

The British Museum is enlisting the assistance of the public through a newly launched webpage to help recover missing items from its extensive collection. Approximately 2,000 artifacts, including valuable gold jewelry, semi-precious stones, and glass items, were discovered to have gone missing over a significant period of time. Initially, when the museum revealed the thefts and damages on August 16, it did not share images of the stolen items.

However, on Tuesday, the British Museum released images of gems and jewelry, some of which belong to the Department of Greece and Rome, in the hope that individuals who possess these items may come forward or that others may identify them.


The museum also confirmed in a statement that 60 items have already been returned, with another 300 identified and set to be returned shortly.


Among the released images are classical Greek and Roman artifacts, such as a Roman sard gem featuring depictions of the Graeco-Egyptian god Sarapis and the Egyptian goddess Isis, a piece of blue glass depicting a helmeted figure slaying a four-headed serpent, and an Hellenistic oval stone engraved with a young warrior on a rock.


Additionally, images of gold rings, earrings, and other jewelry items from the Late Bronze Age, Hellenistic, and Roman periods have been shared, including a Cypriot necklace with horned lions’ heads and a twisted Cypriot gold earring.

In response to the thefts, museum director Hartwig Fischer resigned, and his deputy, Jonathan Williams, stepped back from his position on August 25. Fischer was replaced by former Victoria and Albert (V&A) Museum director Sir Mark Jones.

Former chancellor George Osborne, now the chairman of the museum’s trustees, revealed that an estimated 2,000 items were missing, and some had been recovered. However, he acknowledged that the museum did not possess a complete catalog of its collection, which spans several hundred years, making it easier for someone with knowledge of unregistered items to remove them.

The stolen artifacts were taken before 2023 and over a significant period. An unnamed staff member has been terminated, and the British Museum is pursuing legal action. The Metropolitan Police is conducting an investigation, and a man was interviewed under caution on August 23.

An independent review into the thefts and prevention measures for the future is being led by former trustee Sir Nigel Boardman and Chief Constable of the British Transport Police Lucy D’Orsi. The museum is working with an international panel of experts, including members from the Art Loss Register and the Association for Research into Crimes Against Art, to recover the missing objects, which are also listed on the Art Loss Register’s private database of lost, stolen, and looted art and antiquities. James Ratcliffe, director of recoveries at the Art Loss Register, commended the museum’s balanced approach to providing information to the public while avoiding divulging excessive detail that might aid wrongdoers. The Art Loss Register is providing its assistance pro bono to support the museum’s recovery efforts.


You May Also Like


Giacoloredstones is a colored gem portal. The main columns are Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, Tourmaline, Aquamarine, Tanzanite, Amethyst, Garnet, Turquoise, Knowledges, News, etc.【Contact us: [email protected]

© 2023 Copyright