May 27, 2024

British Museum gems for sale on eBay - how a theft was exposed

BBC. In 2020, Danish antiquities dealer Dr Ittai Gradel began to suspect an eBay seller he had been buying from was a thief who was stealing from the British Museum. Dr Gradel says it is "Totally bizarre" that he could sit at a computer on a small Danish island and be the first person to discover something was awry at the British Museum. Dr Gradel decided to check it against property records - and the name given was Peter Higgs, the British Museum curator. The British Museum chairman, George Osborne, says the museum's court evidence suggested the thief had gone to "Pretty elaborate lengths" to cover his tracks. The British Museum's lack of cataloguing means Dr Gradel has had to donate items that were in his possession, while the museum tries to prove ownership.

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