Museums Antiquities and Archaeology Thefts United Kingdom

Egyptian jewellery heist at Leicester museum kept quiet

Third theft at New Walk Museum and Art Gallery revealed after Freedom of Information request, £90,000 spent on security upgrade

The New Walk Museum and Art Gallery in Leicester

A collection of Egyptian jewellery worth £40,000 has been stolen from the New Walk Museum and Art Gallery in Leicester. According to the newspaper the Leicester Mercury, the items were stolen in May 2012, but the theft was not revealed to the public until a recent Freedom of Information request. The thieves, who apparently broke a latch on a display case to gain access to the artefacts, have so far evaded arrest and none of the pieces have been recovered.

New Walk Museum's Egyptian collection—the largest in the East Midlands—mainly consists of objects donated by the British School in Rome and the Egypt Exploration Society in the 19th and 20th centuries. The most expensive pieces reported as stolen are a 4,000-year-old pendant worth £15,000, and a £12,000 bronze necklace. Other objects date to the Graeco-Roman Period (332BC-AD394), including earrings and bronze bracelets.

This is not the first theft from New Walk Museum in recent years; in April 2012, two pieces of Asian jewellery were stolen, while in September 2012, three rhino horns also went missing. The museum has now spent £90,000 upgrading its security.

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