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Recovered gems to form part of British Museum exhibition

By AFP

February 1, 2024 07:59 PM


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The British Museum said on Thursday that a number of items stolen from its vast collection and then recovered will form part of a new exhibition.

The museum, one of London's biggest tourist draws, announced last August that some 2,000 items were believed to have been taken by a former employee.

Hundreds have since been recovered, including 10 ancient gems that will be on show at the "Rediscovering Gems", which opens on February 15.

Two are Roman glass gems dating from the late 1st century BC to the 1st century AD.

The museum, home to the Rosetta Stone and the Parthenon Marbles, said it was "committed to recovering all the stolen items" and preventing a repeat.

George Osborne, chairman of the British Museum board of trustees, said the exhibition, which runs until June 15, was a sign of the "culture change" at the institution.

"We promised we'd show the world the gems that were stolen and recovered -- rather than hide them away," the former finance minister added.

A police investigation was launched to locate and return the remaining missing items and has drafted in international experts.

The museum, founded in 1753, has also set up a webpage giving details of the losses and information about how to report them.

An unnamed member of staff was sacked after the thefts were disclosed, while museum director Hartwig Fischer stepped down.

The thefts were the latest controversy to hit the institution: in recent years it has come under pressure to return artefacts acquired during the era of the British Empire.

 

 


AFP


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