FBI Investigates Theft, Sale Of ‘Stolen’ Artifacts From British Museum

FBI Investigates Theft, Sale Of ‘Stolen’ Artifacts From British Museum

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) said it is currently investigating the theft and sale of artifacts from the British Museum to buyers from the United States.

The British Museum had announced last year that ancient artifacts like gems, jewelries amongst others were missing from its collections.

Majority of the items believed to be stolen includes a 2nd Century head of Hercules made from volcanic glass are ‘uncatalogued’, making it a bit difficult for the Museum to prove what belongs to its collections.

However, out of the 1,500 artefacts estimated to be stolen or missing, 626 items are reported to have been recovered while over 100 items are located, but not yet recovered.

According to reports from BBC, the US law enforcement agency has helped with the retrieval of 268 items from the Museum, which were sold to an act collector in Washington DC.

Another collector from New Orleans is also currently under investigation for transacting stolen museum items on eBay but he newsmen that the items were no longer in his possession as at when the FBI interrogated him.

The Museum’s Senior Curator of Ancient Greek Collections, Dr. Peter Higgs, has been accused by the British Museum Authorities of stealing, damaging, melting down and selling ancient artifacts on eBay.

According to court documents in cases filed against Higgs, the museum believes he has been stealing and selling unregistered items for at least a decade.

The Museum also claims that Higgs has pocketed an estimate of £100,000 in total and has sold items to at least 45 buyers on eBay.

While Peter Higgs, who has been dismissed from the Museum is defending all civil claims against him, a source disclosed to Newsmen that he bought items from “sultan1966” on eBay.

The source also disclosed that he paid over £7,000 for the items, adding that the seller used the name “Paul Higgins” during the transactions.

Danish antique dealer, Dr Ittai Gradel, who first alerted the museum to thefts, has tracked down artifacts alleged sold to buyers in Hamburg, Paris, Hong Kong, amongst others.

While the FBI is still investigating and recovering the artifacts, no arrests have been made yet.

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