Two people have been arrested in relation to the theft of Chinese art from Cambridge’s Fitzwilliam museum.
In a statement Cambridgeshire Police said: ‘Officers from Cambridgeshire, along with officers from the Metropolitan Police, carried out two warrants at addresses in London’, said police. ‘Both men are currently on their way to Cambridgeshire … [but] We are still keen to hear from anyone who has information about the burglary or the four men we are keen to trace in connection to the theft.’
The dreaming spires of Cambridge had a nasty awakening when thieves broke into the Fitzwilliam Museum and made off with a significant amount of Chinese works of art. 18 items were taken, described as ‘valuable and culturally significant’ and with an estimated value of £18 million. The bulk of the stolen material is jade artworks from the Museum’s permanent collection.
The theft is thought to have involved several thieves. A spokesperson from the University of Cambridge museum said that this ‘exceptional crime’ has seen the disappearance of ‘a highly important part of our collection and their loss is a great blow’.
An investigation into the Museum’s security measures is already underway, with police patrols around the area having been increased. Forensic examinations have being carried out, and the investigation team are currently scrutinising the relevant CCTV footage.
A spokesperson for the detectives state that ‘this type of offence is extremely rare’: ‘The items stolen are very valuable and are of great cultural significance, so we are absolutely committed to recovering them and bringing those who stole them to justice’.
‘In particular, we are keen to hear from anyone who may have been in or around the Fitzwilliam Museum between 6pm and 8pm and may have heard or seen anything unusual or suspicious.’
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