Family of British Museum worker sacked after artefacts theft protest his innocence

The son of a British Museum curator sacked after artefacts had been stolen, vanished or had been broken says his father is devastated.

The London museum, which homes objects from world wide, mentioned on Wednesday it had launched an impartial overview of safety and {that a} workers member had been dismissed. The stolen objects embody jewelry product of gold, semi-precious stones and glass relationship from 1,500BC to the nineteenth century.

Peter Higgs, a curator who labored there for 30 years, has now been recognized by his household because the member of workers.

His son, Greg Higgs, advised The Telegraph his father’s identify had “been completely dragged through the mud and demonised”.

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“He’s with family currently for a bit of support because it’s been very hard, losing half of our income pretty suddenly,” he advised the newspaper. “At this point he doesn’t even really care what people think of him, he just wants a chance to live a normal life.

“It gets to that point sometimes where even if you’re innocent you’d just rather not have everyone speak to you all the time about it, at least from the museum. He’s lost all faith in the museum,” he added.

Mr Higgs defined that his father beloved his job and was “amazing” at it, however that he “hasn’t been doing great” for the reason that investigation started.

As properly as being the museum’s head of the division of Greece and Rome, Mr Higgs was one of many museum’s “Monuments Men”, a workforce that tracks down looted artefacts and returns them to their residence nations or places them on show in London.

He is known to be an eminent skilled on antiquities who has written books to accompany among the museum’s large-scale exhibitions.

The British Museum says it can’t remark because the Metropolitan Police investigation is lively. No one has been arrested in reference to the alleged thefts. The museum has not confirmed which of its eight million artefacts have gone lacking but it surely has been reported the quantity may very well be within the hundreds.

An image seen on Peter Higg’s Facebook web page of a masks


Items had reportedly been going lacking for a number of years though it’s understood they had been objects in storage relatively than these usually seen by the general public on the vacationer attraction.

On Wednesday, the museum’s director Hartwig Fischer apologised for the lacking artefacts, explaining “we are determined to put this right” and able to “throw our efforts into the recovery of objects”.

Chairman of the museum, George Osborne, mentioned the trustees had been “extremely concerned” by the incident and “used all the disciplinary powers available to us to deal with the individual we believe to be responsible”.

The British Museum mentioned it had dismissed a member of workers after objects had been discovered to be lacking, stolen or broken


The former chancellor mentioned: “Our priority is now threefold: first, to recover the stolen items; second, to find out what, if anything, could have been done to stop this; and third, to do whatever it takes, with investment in security and collection records, to make sure this doesn’t happen again.

“This incident only reinforces the case for the re-imagination of the museum we have embarked upon. It’s a sad day for all who love our British Museum, but we’re determined to right the wrongs and use the experience to build a stronger museum.”

Mr Higgs and his son have been contacted for remark.

At the previous curator’s residence in Hastings, East Sussex, a gray 54-plate Nissan Micra within the drive and a canine barking inside had been the one indicators of life.

Mr Higgs has not been seen there for a number of days, neighbours mentioned, and there was no reply on the entrance door.

Curtains within the entrance room had been drawn however a light-weight may very well be seen in an upstairs bed room. The house is in a quiet, properly stored avenue in a well-to-do space of the city.

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