Oriental Museum reopens after £2m heist
University museum reopens after the return of £2million worth of Chinese artefacts.
11 days after suffering the daring heist of £2million worth of Chinese artefacts, Durham University’s Oriental Museum will re-open following the items’ return.
The museum’s curator, Dr Craig Barclay commented, “the university remains committed to ensuring public access to it’s collections and it is important that we are able to reopen the museum”.
The recovery of the highly-valued artefacts, a jade bowl and porcelain sculpture from the Qing Dynasty, comes after the arrest of five people in West Midlands. The force tasked with the recovery of the items was composed of some 40 detectives and they commented the items were eventually recovered in Brandon, Suffolk.
Chief constable Jon Stoddart was full of praise for the “excellent work” of the Durham Constabulary.
The robbery itself, which occurred on Thursday April 5, was described by the police spokesman as “well-planned and highly orchestrated”. Under the cover of night, the thieves chiselled a three-foot hole in the wall of the ground floor Malcolm Macdonald Gallery before rushing in to relieve the items from their display cases.
While the police estimated the initial break-through took around 40 minutes, they claimed the thieves spent no more than two minutes inside the museum.
The police are continuing the hunt for two further suspects, Adrian Stanton and the disconcertingly named Lee Wildman.
Experts will now inspect the artefacts to check if they sustained any damage during the drama and a museum representative commented that the building’s security will be inspected with a view to improvement.