May 27, 2024

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Treasure stolen from British Museum sold on eBay


On Wednesday, the British Museum confirmed that its employee had been fired after it was discovered that jewelry and gems from the museum’s collection were “missing, stolen or damaged”.

The aftermath of the British Museum treasure theft scandal, which came to light on Thursday, has been delayed despite the fact that valuable exhibits were put up for sale on the online auction site eBay, the British press reported.

The British Museum confirmed on Wednesday that a staff member had been fired after it discovered jewelry and gems from its collection were “missing, stolen or damaged”. However, today the British media report new information.

The information, reproduced in particular by the Telegraph newspaper, says that the expert revealed the fact of the supply of historical artifacts to the platform, pointing the potential seller to the museum, but despite information from 2020, no action has been taken over the years.

Roman jewels were among the treasures for sale, according to the Telegraph. Without going into details, the British Museum limited itself to reporting that among the stolen or damaged items were gold jewelry, precious and semi-precious stones dating from the 15th century BC. until the 19th century AD

Most of them are “small objects kept in the vault of one of the museum’s collections” and used for scientific and research work, and none of them have recently been put on public display.

According to The Telegraph, stolen items from the collection of the British Museum were sold on eBay for 40 pounds ($50), although their real price reaches 50 thousand pounds ($65 thousand). Sources of the publication said that the theft of exhibits became possible due to the lack of a detailed catalog for 8 million items that are in the museum’s collection.

The museum said it would file lawsuits against the fired employee, without naming him. However, local media called the name of an outstanding restorer who worked in the British Museum for 30 years.

The PJH (56-year-old Peter John Higgs) allegedly operated for years seizing items to sell. Items from the museum’s collection first appeared on eBay back in 2016, according to the Daily Telegraph. Presumably, the restorer stole small gold jewelry and precious stones. According to the authoritative publication The Art Newspaper, the cost of the items in question is estimated at tens of millions of euros.

Art Recovery International, a law firm specializing in repatriation issues, posted a message on Twitter stating that “the Parthenon sculptures in the UK may not be safe after all.”

Based on materials from the Daily Mirror, Telegraph, Sky News.



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