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British Museum launches appeal to recover missing items

September 27, 2023

LONDON: The British Museum on Tuesday launched a webpage describing the types of items believed to have been stolen from its collection, calling on the public to help recover the missing artefacts.

One of the British capital´s biggest tourist draws, the museum is best known for housing the Rosetta Stone and the Parthenon Marbles. An estimated 2,000 items are believed to have disappeared from its vast collection, museum chairman George Osborne has said.

On the webpage, the museum shared images of items that are still in its collection but are similar to those missing. The museum said the “vast majority” of the missing items, mainly gems and jewellery, were from the department of Greece and Rome.

The images include a gold Roman bracelet, an inscribed finger-ring and a blue glass intaglio with a helmeted figure killing a four-headed snake with a double-axe. The central London museum said it will not be sharing full details of the missing items on the advice of recovery specialists.

It encouraged those who think they “may be, or have been, in possession of items from the British Museum” to get in touch. Separately, the museum also confirmed “60 items have now been returned, with a further 300 identified and due to be returned imminently”. The museum said in August it had dismissed a staff member and alerted the police after items were found to be “missing, stolen or damaged”.