We honestly thought this was the plot of a heist movie at first…
The British Museum a top landmark and institute in London, England, dedicated to human history, art and culture. Its permanent collection contains a jaw-dropping 8 million works, one of the biggest and most comprehensive in the world. It was established in 1753, and his been welcoming tourists, visitors and collectors alike pretty much since then.
With such a gigantic collection of valuable objects, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to many that keeping track of every item in the museum is a complex task. Staff have to deal with maintaining and restoring current items as well as admitting new artefacts, as well as a host of other changeable factors. However, after over 250 years we assumed they had it down to a fine art (pun intended) by now. Not so.
In reports released by the British Museum last month, it was revealed that a diamond and platinum ring worth £750,000 had gone missing. The Cartier ring was donated in 2001 anonymously, and actually went missing in 2011. The museum is not obliged to publish this information until five years after the loss, so the incident was kept under wraps until now.
What happened? Well, nobody seems to know. The ring was not on public display at the time and the theft was reported to the museum director, the board of trustees, and the police as soon as it was found to be missing. The police took no further action, which raises even more questions.
Since the loss, the British Museum has reviewed its security measures extensively and has written off the loss in this year’s annual report. The Cartier piece looks as though it hails from the 1960s or 1970s and could well have belonged to a famous celebrity before its donation. The centre diamond could be up to 20 carats in size, and is set in a simple design with a platinum band and baguette diamonds at the shoulders.
Has the ring simply been misplaced elsewhere in the museum, or did an insider steal it for their own gain? Who knows!