British Museum director Hartwig Fischer quits over stolen treasures

Dr Fischer stated: “Over the previous few days, I’ve been reviewing intimately the occasions across the thefts from the British Museum and the investigation into them.

“It is clear that the British Museum didn’t reply as comprehensively because it ought to have in response to the warnings in 2021, and to the issue that has now absolutely emerged.

“The accountability for that failure should finally relaxation with the director. I additionally misjudged the remarks I made earlier this week about Dr Gradel. I want to specific my honest remorse and withdraw these remarks.”

Last week, the museum introduced that it had sacked a member of workers, now recognized to be Peter Higgs, the performing keeper of Greek collections, after discovering that jewels product of gold, semi-precious stones and glass relationship from 1,500BC till the 19th century had gone lacking.

The thefts are believed to have been occurring for between 10 and 20 years. Mr Higgs denies wrongdoing.

In February 2021, Dr Gradel had submitted detailed proof exhibiting that treasures from the museum’s assortment had been bought on eBay over a number of years.

But emails seen by The Telegraph revealed that, till October final yr, each Dr Fischer and his deputy maintained that the matter had been totally investigated, that there was no proof of wrongdoing, and that safety preparations had been strong.

It was solely when Mr Osborne demanded particulars of the investigation {that a} recent audit was executed and the thefts had been confirmed.

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