24/Apr/2014 - Last News Update: 17:05

Fitzwilliam Museum theft: Chinese jade art stolen

Category: England

Published: 18th Apr 2012 17:14:26

Thieves have stolen "valuable and culturally significant" Chinese works of art from a Cambridge museum.

The 18 items, mostly jade and from the Fitzwilliam Museum's permanent collection, are believed to have been taken at about 19:30 BST on Friday.

Cambridgeshire Police said a group of people were involved in the break-in.

A spokesman from the University of Cambridge museum said: "A thorough investigation of our security measures is under way."

He added: "These works are a highly important part of our collection and their loss is a great blow."

Forensic examinations have been carried out at the scene and CCTV footage is being examined.

Police patrols have also been increased in the area around the museum.

Det Ch Supt Karen Daber, leading the investigation called Operation Tundra, said a team of detectives was working closely with staff at the Fitzwilliam, the principal museum of the University of Cambridge.

"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," she said.

"In particular, we are keen to hear from anyone who may have been in or around the Fitzwilliam Museum between 6pm and 8pm and may have heard or seen anything unusual or suspicious.

"While this is an exceptional crime that we are taking very seriously, it is also worth remembering that this type of offence is extremely rare.

It follows a theft at the Oriental Museum at Durham University where Chinese jade and porcelain items were stolen.

They have since been found and five people have been arrested and questioned about the raid.

Mrs Daber refused to speculate on whether the two thefts were linked.

Among the stolen items in Cambridge were six pieces from the Ming dynasty, including a jade 16th Century carved buffalo, a carved horse from the 17th Century and a green and brown jade carved elephant.

A jade cup and vase which is carved with bronze designs was also stolen along with an opaque jade brush washer.

Eight pieces from the Qing dynasty were taken, and a table screen from the Qianlong period and a jug and vase from the 18th Century make up the rest of the stolen items.

Their value has not been released.

A university spokesman said the museum had a policy of not attaching monetary values to artefacts in its collection.

Source:
BBC News External Link Show Citation

Latest News

Harvard Citation

BBC News, 2012. Fitzwilliam Museum theft: Chinese jade art stolen [Online] (Updated 18th Apr 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1423173/Fitzwilliam-Museum-theft-Chinese-jade-art-stolen [Accessed 24th Apr 2014]

News In Other Categories

  • Elderly care: 'Who will care for me?'

    The number of older people in England needing care will "outstrip" the number of family members able to provide it by 2017, a think tank has warned.
  • Cyber gang leader Tony Colston-Hayter jailed for bank scam

    The leader of an internet gang which stole £1.25m from banks has been jailed for five-and-a-half years.
  • Colwyn Bay school rape 'never happened' court told

    A boy accused of raping a fellow pupil at a north Wales primary school has told a jury the alleged attack never happened.
  • Pet Shop Boys premiere Alan Turing work at BBC Proms

    An orchestral work by the Pet Shop Boys about the life of wartime codebreaker Alan Turing is to have its world premiere at this year's BBC Proms.
  • Russia extends opposition leader Navalny's house arrest

    A Moscow court has extended the house arrest of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny by another six months for violating its conditions.
  • Bristol Academy extends reach overseas with first foreign students

    With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com