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Friday, April 06, 2012

Stolen Art Watch, Durham University Museum Heist, Multi-Million Jade, Ray Scott From The Grave !!



Artefacts stolen from Durham University's Oriental Museum

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tyne-17637834

Two "priceless" artefacts have been stolen from Durham University's Oriental Museum in a night-time raid.

Thieves got into the museum's Malcolm MacDonald Gallery late on Thursday, escaping with an 18th Century jade bowl and porcelain sculpture.

Museum curator Dr Craig Barclay described the objects as "priceless" and "highly significant" examples of the Qing Dynasty.

Police said they were already following a "number of lines of inquiry".

Both stolen items are from the Qing Dynasty, the last imperial dynasty in China, which ran from 1644 to 1911.

The large green jade bowl, dating from 1769, is from the collection of Sir Charles Hardinge, a British collector of jades and hardstones. A Chinese poem is written inside.

The thieves also took a Dehua porcelain sculpture, with a cream white glaze of seven fairies in a boat, which is 30cm (11.8ins) in both height and length.

The university said it would not disclose the estimated value of the items.

'Museum closed'

Dr Barclay said: "We are extremely upset to have fallen victim to such a serious crime.

"The two pieces are highly significant in that they are fine examples of artefacts from the Qing Dynasty in the mediums of porcelain and hard stone.

"We very much hope that police will be able to recover them and we urge anybody who may have any information about their whereabouts to contact the police immediately."

The museum will be closed until further notice.

Dr Barclay added: "We are very sorry that our customers have been affected by this incident and intend to reopen as soon as possible."

Det Insp Lyn Peart, of Durham Police, said: "We are working with the university and following a number of lines of inquiry to trace the stolen items and arrest those responsible.

"We would like to speak to anyone who was in the Elvet Road area of the city between 10 and 11pm last night and who may have seen anything suspicious."

The university has been targeted by art thieves in the past, most notably when a rare copy Shakespeare's First Folio was taken in 1998.

County Durham antiques dealer Raymond Scott was later convicted of handling stolen goods. He was found dead in prison earlier this year.

Artefacts worth £1.8m stolen from Durham University's Oriental Museum

Two artefacts valued at £1.8m have been stolen from Durham University's Oriental Museum in a night-time raid.

Thieves got into the museum's Malcolm MacDonald Gallery late on Thursday, escaping with an 18th Century jade bowl and porcelain sculpture.

Museum officials described the objects as "highly significant" examples of the Qing Dynasty.

Durham Police said they were looking for three men seen in the museum earlier on Thursday.

Both stolen items are from the Qing Dynasty, the last imperial dynasty in China, which ran from 1644 to 1911.

The large green jade bowl, dating from 1769, is from the collection of Sir Charles Hardinge, a British collector of jades and hardstones. A Chinese poem is written inside.

The thieves also took a Dehua porcelain sculpture, with a cream white glaze, of seven fairies in a boat, which is 30cm (11.8ins) in both height and length.

A spokeswoman for Durham Police said the estimated value of both pieces was £1.8m. She said it was possible the items had been stolen to order for a foreign collector.

She said: "In particular we are interested in tracing three men who were seen to be taking a special interest in the cabinet which held these artefacts. Two are of Afro-Caribbean description and the other is white."

Museum curator Dr Craig Barclay said: "We are extremely upset to have fallen victim to such a serious crime.

"The two pieces are highly significant in that they are fine examples of artefacts from the Qing Dynasty in the mediums of porcelain and hard stone.

"We very much hope that police will be able to recover them and we urge anybody who may have any information about their whereabouts to contact the police immediately."

The museum will be closed until further notice.

Dr Barclay added: "We are very sorry that our customers have been affected by this incident and intend to reopen as soon as possible."

The university has been targeted by art thieves in the past, most notably when a rare copy Shakespeare's First Folio was taken in 1998.

County Durham antiques dealer Raymond Scott was later convicted of handling stolen goods. He was found dead in prison earlier this year.

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