In a recent development, the British Museum has taken decisive action following suspicions of a jewel looting incident involving one of its staff members. The museum has initiated a thorough review of its security protocols and terminated the employment of the staff member in question, as stated in an official announcement on Wednesday.
The unidentified worker is believed to have been involved in the theft and damage of various items, including gold jewelry and “gems of semi-precious stones and glass,” spanning a historical timeline from the 15th century B.C. to the 19th century A.D., according to a museum press release.
London’s law enforcement agency has confirmed an ongoing investigation into the matter, although no arrests have been made thus far. The museum refrained from disclosing the monetary value of the missing items due to the ongoing police inquiry.
The majority of the pilfered pieces were relatively small and stored within the museum’s storeroom, with none having been showcased to the public recently. These items were primarily reserved for academic and research purposes, the museum clarified.
George Osborne, Chair of the British Museum, expressed the institution’s commitment to rectifying the situation. In a statement, Osborne asserted the museum’s dedication to recovering the stolen items, enhancing security measures, and bolstering collections records to ensure the prevention of future incidents.
The British Museum has experienced previous instances of theft, including the loss of a diamond Cartier ring valued at nearly a million dollars in 2017. The institution’s proactive response aligns with international efforts to curb art thefts, often involving internal staff, which is a widespread issue. The incident also follows a recent stabbing outside the museum, underscoring the need for comprehensive security measures in protecting the iconic attraction.
As the investigation unfolds and recovery efforts continue, the British Museum remains steadfast in its commitment to maintaining the integrity of its collection and enhancing safeguards against future incidents.
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