More than 40 Chinese artefacts, including jade, ceramics and gold pieces, were stolen from a museum in Bath, southwest England after four masked men broke into the first floor of the museum.
The raid took place at around 1:20am on Tuesday 17 April. Reported by witnesses, burglars smashed a first-floor window to gain access to Museum of East Asian Art in Bath. They broke several display cabinets to steal a number of jade and gold artefacts before making off in a dark-coloured SUV.
A jade monkey holding a peach, from the early Ming dynasty
A jade mandarin ducks with lotus flowers, Qing dynasty
According to the police statement, stolen items include:
- A jade monkey holding a peach, from the early Ming dynasty
- A jade mandarin ducks with lotus flowers, Qing dynasty
- An inlaid wooden covered box, Qing dynasty
- A soapstone figure of Dongfang Shuo, Late Ming to early Qing dynasty
- A set of 14 gold belt plaques, early Ming dynasty
- A Jizhou stoneware vase, Southern Song dynasty
An inlaid wooden covered box,Qing dynasty
A soapstone figure of Dongfang Shuo, Late Ming to early Qing dynasty
The raid is suspected to be a targeted attack with the artefacts possibly stolen to order. The police didn’t specify the price of the items stolen, saying the items ‘range in monetary value, but their cultural significance is priceless.’
A set of 14 gold belt plaques, early Ming dynasty
A Jizhou stoneware vase, Southern Song dynasty
Nicole Chiang, the museum’s curator, said in a statement: “We are deeply shocked and saddened by the burglary as we are preparing for our 25th anniversary celebrations. Not only do the stolen objects have significant historical and cultural value, they also hold irreplaceable emotional value for our founder.”
The Museum is closed until 5 May when the next exhibition "A Quest for Wellness" is planned to open.