Valuable Chinese art stolen in raid on Fitzwilliam Museum
The “extremely valuable” stolen items are mostly jade and part of the museum’s permanent collection.
They were stolen from the museum in a break-in at about 7.30pm on Friday. (April 13)
Police were alerted by the museum's alarm system.
Forensic tests have been carried out and police are now examining CCTV footage in the search for clues.
The value of the artefacts has not yet been revealed.
A museum spokesman said: "These works are a highly important part of the collection and their loss is a great blow."
Det Chief Supt, Karen Daber, leading the police investigation, said: “The items stolen are very valuable and are of great cultural significance so we are absolutely committed to recovering them and bringing those who stole them to justice.
“We have a team of detectives working hard to achieve these ends and we are working closely with the Fitzwilliam Museum which is doing all it can to
help our enquiries.
"We are following a number of enquiries, but we also need the help of the public and would urge anyone with information that could help our enquiries to call us.”
Police say the public would have heard the alarm and said they are focussing their investigation on the front of the building in Trumpington Street.
Det Chf Supt Daber added: “In particular we are keen to hear from anyone who may have been in or around the museum between 6pm and 8pm and may have heard or seen anything unusual or suspicious."
She added people dining at Browns restaurant, opposite the museum, may have seen something that could help police with their enquiries.
A full list of the items stolen:
- Table screen, Qianlong Period, late 18th century, jade carved relief on both sides
- Brush washer, Qing Dynasty, 18th century, jade carved in high relief.
- Incense burner or flower perfumer, Qing Dynasty, 18th century, jade carved with openwork.
- Jug, 18th century, jade, decorated with a band of archaistic bronze motif around the neck.
- Incense burner or flower perfumer, Qing Dynasty, 18th century, Jasper, carved drilled openwork, decorated with two tao-tie on the body and cover.
- Vase, 18th century, jade, carved with peonies and rock on one side and plum flower and daffodils on the other.
- Recumbent buffalo, Ming Dynasty, 16th century, jade, celadon green, carved.
- Imaginary beast, late Ming or early Qing Dynasty, 17th century, jade, carved.
- Bowl of trefoil form, Qing Dynasty, 18th century, lapis lazuli, raised moulded bands and pierced handles.
- Bowl, Qing Dynasty, 17th century, chalcedony, translucent.
- Sleeping elephant, Ming Dynasty, jade boulder of green and brown, carved in the shape of a sleeping elephant.
- Recumbent horse, Ming Dynasty, 17th century, jade, carved.
- Jade vase, Qing Dynasty, late 18th century, spinach-green jade carved as a vase of archaic form with openwork chains, at the foot of which stands a quail surrounded by rice grains.
- Jade lion, Qing Dynasty, 19th century, greyish jade with dark grey and black streaks, carved as a horned lion.
- Jade cup, Ming Dynasty, late 14th/early 15th century, ling grass green jade cup with brown areas, carved with fluted and lobed sides with two handles, resting on a short straight foot.
- Jade cup, Qing Dynasty, translucent spinach jade with some dark green speckling, hollowed and carved with a chrysanthemum foot.
- Archaistic jade vase, Ming Dynasty, late 14th/early 15th century, mottled greenish-grey jade, engraved and carved in low relief with archaic bronze designs, two dragon-head handles.
- Brush washer, Ming Dynasty, late 14th/early 15th century, opaque celadon jade, well hollowed and carved with prunus blossoms.