British Museum Suing Former Curator Peter Higgs for Allegedly Stealing Over 1,800 Artifacts

Selling each item via e-commerce sites such as eBay over a 10-year period.

Art
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Nearly nine months since his firing, the British Museum is now suing its former curator Peter Higgs for allegedly stealing more than 1,800 artifacts from the institution’s collection. Back in August, just a month after his termination, a special counsel had determined at the time that Higgs had stolen gold jewelry, gemstones and rare artifacts over a ten-year period and was selling them via online marketplaces, such as eBay.

Higgs, whose tenure with the museum spanned over 30 years, served as an expert on Greek and Roman art. One of the objects he stole dates back to the Roman Empire, estimated to have been worth upwards of $64,000 USD, but was sold via eBay for only $51 USD. “The items that have been stolen from the museum are of cultural and historical significance,” said the museum’s lawyer Daniel Burgess, in a statement.

Within the filing, the museum claims that Higgs had also manipulated the institution’s internal catalog, changing names and documents, to cover up his tracks. The former curator has been ordered by High Court presiding judge Heather Williams to return all of the looted items within a month’s time, as well as list his financial records from eBay and PayPal. Higgs denies the accusations set against him, but missed his court hearing on March 26, due to poor health, his lawyer states.

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