Artefacts worth $3.2m stolen from Durham University’s Oriental Museum


Chinese artefacts with an estimated combined value of £2m ($3.2m) have been stolen from Durham University’s Oriental Museum, authorities said on Saturday.

Durham police said two men and a woman from the West Midlands area have been arrested in connection with the Thursday night theft, but the items have not yet been recovered.

Priceless Artefacts

The northern England-based university confirmed that two “priceless” artefacts were stolen when thieves broke into a ground-floor gallery at the museum: A large jade bowl with a Chinese poem written inside that dates back to 1769, and a Dehua porcelain sculpture.

“We are extremely upset to have fallen victim to such a serious crime,” said Craig Barclay, the museum’s curator, in a statement.

“The two pieces are highly significant in that they are fine examples of artefacts from the Qing Dynasty.”

Police said in a statement that they are still trying to locate “several outstanding suspects”. The museum will be closed until further notice, the university said.

– AP

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