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British Museum Fires Worker Accused of Stealing Gold and Gems

The British Museum has fired a staff member suspected of looting jewelery from a storeroom and launched a review of its security practices, the museum announced on Wednesday.

The worker, who has not been named, said the museum stole or damaged gold jewelry and “semi-precious stones and glass gems” dating from the 15th century BC to the 19th century AD. A press release said.

London’s police force said in a statement that it was conducting an investigation, but that no arrests had been made and that its “inquiries are continuing”.

Because of the police investigation, the museum would not comment on the value of the missing items or provide further details about them, a museum spokeswoman said in a telephone interview. The museum said most of the items were small pieces kept in a storeroom. None have been on public display recently, the museum said, adding that “they were primarily kept for academic and research purposes.”

Museum Chair George Osborne said in the news release that the museum is now working to recover the items and will “do whatever is necessary, with investments in security and collection records, to ensure this does not happen again.”

“This is a sad day for those who love our British Museum, but we are determined to use the experience to right the wrongs and build a stronger museum,” Osborne said.

This is far from the first case of theft at the London institution. In 2017, the museum announced six years ago It is missing a diamond Cartier ring Worth about a million dollars. In 2004, 15 pieces of Chinese jewelry Opening hours are stolenWhen in 2002 A 2,500-year-old Greek marble head was taken from a peak

Several other museums in Europe have also been the victims of theft recently. Last year, thieves stole around 500 ancient gold coins from the Celtic and Roman Museum in Munching, Bavaria. In 2019, jewelry worth about 100 million euros, about $108 million, was lost in a robbery at the Green Vault Museum in Dresden. In May, five men were convicted for their roles in that theft, and most of the jewelry was recovered.

Christopher A. Marinello, a lawyer who works on recovering stolen art, said in a telephone interview that theft from museums is “a big problem” worldwide and often involves employees. Still, he added, “It’s very embarrassing and worrying that this is happening at the British Museum.”


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