British Museum seeks public help to recover stolen antiquities

Image: British Museum ( Regina Victorica)

A new email hotline and an expert panel of gem and jewellery specialists have been announced, to assist in the recovery of what is thought to be thousands of lost objects.

The British Museum has revealed more details of its strategy to recover objects stolen from its collection.

Last month a member of staff at the British Museum was sacked as the museum announced items from its collection were found to be “missing, stolen or damaged”.

The fall-out saw its then-Director Hartwig Fischer move forward his previously announced resignation, while the museum launched its own investigation into the thefts alongside a partnership with the Metropolitan Police.

The museum is now appealing to the public to get in contact if they believe they may be in possession of one of the roughly two thousand objects, mainly consisting of gems and jewellery.

On a new webpage, the museum has published photographs of items similar to those lost but still in its collection, predominantly from its Department of Greece and Rome.

The museum notes that “on the advice of recovery specialists, we are not sharing full details of the lost and damaged items at this time.”

A screenshot of the photographs published by the British Museum to help with its recovery efforts (British Museum)

Last month, the museum said items thought to have been stolen included gold jewellery and gems of semi-precious stones and glass, dating from the 15th century BC to the 19th century AD.

Detailing more on its recovery efforts, the museum said it has registered the missing items with the Art Loss Register.

It has also established an international panel of specialists, including figures in the study of gems and jewellery, who will “offer their expertise to assist us in identifying and retrieving the lost items.”

The museum said it is also “actively monitoring the art market”, continuing to work in partnership with the Metropolitan Police Service, and has established an email hotline for anyone with information.

The public update is the first detailing the progress of its recovery programme, with further updates expected to include information on the material that it has recovered.