London: A senior curator at the British Museum in London has been accused of stealing and selling online about 2,000 artifacts from the museum’s collection, including gold jewelry and gems. The museum said it had fired the staff member and was trying to recover the items, which are worth millions of pounds. The stolen artifacts range from the 15th century BC to the 19th century AD and were mostly kept in a store room. They had not been exhibited to the public recently.
The president of the British Museum, George Osborne, said that some of the items had already been retrieved and that the museum was working with honest people who would return the stolen goods. However, he admitted that some others might not cooperate. He also said that the museum needed to improve its security measures.
The theft was discovered in 2021 when a Danish art dealer contacted the museum and said he had seen many of its items for sale online. The museum claimed to have conducted a full investigation, but a later inquiry found that the initial response was inadequate. Osborne said that the museum had failed to heed warnings about the theft.
The British Museum is one of the most renowned and prestigious museums in the world, founded in 1753. It houses historical artifacts such as the Rosetta Stone and Parthenon statues, which attract visitors from all over the world. The theft scandal has been a huge embarrassment for the museum. The director of the museum, Hartwig Fischer, resigned on Friday after the scandal came to light.