Posts Tagged With: museum

Massive gold coin worth millions stolen from German museum…..


BERLIN (AP) — Thieves broke into the German capital’s Bode Museum before dawn Monday and made off with a massive 100-kilogram (221-pound) gold coin worth millions of dollars, police said.

Police spokesman Stefen Petersen said thieves apparently entered through a window about 3:30 a.m. Monday, broke into a cabinet where the “Big Maple Leaf” coin was kept, and escaped with it before police arrived.

A ladder was found by nearby railway tracks.

The three-centimeter (1.18-inch) thick coin, with a diameter of 53 centimeters (20.9 inches), has a face value of 1 million Canadian dollars ($750,000). By weight alone, however, it would be worth almost $4.5 million at market prices.

Petersen would not comment on whether authorities had surveillance video of the crime, but said police assume more than one person was involved because of the weight of the coin.

The museum says the coin is in the Guinness Book of Records for its purity of 999.99/1000 gold. It has a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II on one side and maple leaves on the other.

It was produced in limited quantities by the Royal Canadian Mint to promote a new line of its Gold Maple Leaf bullion coins in 2007. It has been on display at the Bode Museum, on Berlin’s Museum Island, since December 2010.

Berlin museums spokesman Markus Farr said the coin is on loan from a private collection, but would not elaborated.

Detectives specialized in crimes involving art are investigating.

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National Museums Scotland – introducing the collections….


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Egypt recovers 90 ancient artefacts on sale in Jerusalem…..


Cairo (AFP) – Egypt said Sunday that it has recovered 90 ancient artefacts that were put on sale by a Jerusalem auction house, and has asked Israel to find other antiquities and return them to Cairo.

The ministry of antiquities said it had asked Israeli authorities to intervene after “spotting in recent weeks a sale of 110 ancient Egyptian artefacts on the website of an auction house in Jerusalem”.

The auction house was unable to provide documents proving who owned the items and Israeli authorities banned the sale, the ministry said, ordering 90 of the 110 artefacts to be returned to Cairo.

Egypt “will ask the Israeli authorities to investigate and find pieces that have already been sold so they can be brought back to Egypt,” the ministry added.

Ali Ahmed, an official at Egypt’s department of antiquities, said several ancient Egyptian artefacts were reportedly seen in Israeli auctions and that Cairo had taken legal steps to recover the stolen items.

In October, the ministry said it had received an assurance from online auction site eBay that it would not sell artefacts that had been illegally taken out of Egypt.

During the 2011 uprising that toppled longterm ruler Hosni Mubarak, several museums were pillaged, including the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities near Cairo’s Tahrir square, epicentre of the demonstrations.

Other museums were attacked in the unrest that followed the military’s overthrow of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi on July 3, and many items are still missing.egypt

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Treasure Seeker made ​​the discovery of his life – “Completely unique in Finland”


Kauklahtelainen metal seeker Antti Hirvinen has made ​​an extremely rare discovery of a gold ring. Preliminary studies indicate that ring comes from the heart of the Middle Ages. A rare discovery may lead to new excavations.

Such a ring is not from Finland has ever been found. ”
The discovery is so unique that even experienced scientists are really excited about the ring.

– Yes, this is a very significant discovery, because this kind of ring is the entire country has never been done before, evaluate the Espoo City Museum Curator Anna Wessman.

Wessman’s the equivalent of medieval gold rings have been found in all of Scandinavia, only a few.

Ring found 21 August Espoonkartano from the field. Ground breaking off, treasures more than a couple of years with a metal detector looking for Hirvinen found the ring as soon as the search early in the day.

When the beeper indicated that in the corn is something that interests you, Hirvinen thought he spotted just an ordinary bottle cap.

– Yes, it was quite a surprise when the ring came from, granted Hirvinen.

– In some old jewelry I have determined that I was able to place the ring to the Middle Ages.

Wessman of the ring is made of what is most likely in mid-1300.

Studies, the origin of the ring to find out more.

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England…..Gold Liberace Cadillac put up for sale by Mottram businessman


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A gold Cadillac which was owned by flamboyant musician Liberace is being sold by a businessman who spent months making it roadworthy again.

The 1930s car has been valued at £100,000 by Mike Radcliffe, who bought it from a car collector in 2011.

Liberace, who died in 1987, was known as much for his extravagant tastes as for his music.

Mr Radcliffe, from Mottram in Tameside, said he enjoyed driving around in the car and would be “sad to see her go”.

He said the convertible car had a number of “unique” features, including 23.5 carat gold leaf bodywork, diamond crowns on the wheels and two rubies in the radiator mascot.

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Qianlong Chinese vase sold at auction for almost £1m…..


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A small Chinese vase that was valued at between £10,000 and £15,000 has been sold at auction for almost £1m.

The extremely rare 18th Century ornament, made for a Chinese emperor, was brought to Britain by the seller’s family more than a century ago.

It had been kept in a house in North Yorkshire for 45 years and the owner had no idea how valuable it was.

It was sold for £950,000 to a telephone buyer from China at Tennants’ auctions rooms in Leyburn, North Yorkshire.

Nigel Smith, Tennants’ associate director, said the blue and white vase was made for the Qianlong Emperor around 1730.

He said the high price was down to its rarity and exclusivity as very few were produced.
“It really is a museum-quality piece and these things very rarely come on the market.

“It’s come down through the family. One of their relatives was a diplomat in China in the 1880s and was given it as a gift.”

The seller’s grandmother, Lady Ethel Margaret Stronge, left the vase to his mother Mrs Rose Ethel Richardson of Tynan Abbey, County Armagh, Northern Ireland, who gave it to her son.

Lady Ethel married Sir Francis Stronge who joined the diplomatic service in London in 1879 and served in Peking the same year.

He went on to serve in the Supreme Court in Shanghai in 1885 before working in Central America.

The vase was discovered by Rodney Tennant, from the auction house, during a routine house call to value the contents.

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A WWI-era tank returns to Poland from Afghanistan…..



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WARSAW, Poland (AP) — A tank used by Poland in its 1920 war against the Red Army was returned from Afghanistan where it was serving as a decoration at the defense ministry.
Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak said Friday the French-made FT-17 tank has “historic and sentimental value” for Poland.
According to historians it probably was captured by the Bolsheviks during the war, and later sent to Kabul as a gift.
It was spotted at the Defense Ministry in Kabul by an Afghan employee of Poland’s embassy, according to Piotr Lukasiewicz, the Polish ambassador to Kabul.
After maintenance it will be displayed at the Polish Armed Forces Museum, Siemoniak said.
Europe has only three such tanks, the museum says. It is the first tank on tracks with front cabin and rear engine.

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$2 million in gems, gold stolen from Calif. museum……


California investigators searched Monday for thieves who made off with an estimated $2 million in precious gems and gold from a mining museum in the Sierra Nevada foothills during a brazen daytime robbery.
But they didn’t get away with the biggest prize of all — the nearly 14-pound Fricot Nugget, a giant crystalline gold mass unearthed in the Gold Rush era.
During their attempt to grab the massive nugget, the robbers triggered an alarm that alerted authorities who swarmed the museum but were unable to nab the thieves.
At least two robbers wearing hoods and armed with pickaxes threatened workers during the heist Friday at the California Mining and Minerals Museum in Mariposa, the California Highway Patrol said.
No suspects have been identified.
The two museum employees who were onsite during the crime were not injured, but they remained shaken from the experience, the California Department of Parks and Recreation, which operates the facility, said in a news release.
Officials have closed the museum while they repair display cases and other items damaged by the robbers. Meanwhile, the parks department was busy conducting an inventory of the stolen items.
The heist was more bad news for the beleaguered museum, which is home to more than 13,000 artifacts. It was previously on a state list of facilities being considered for closure to help save money.
Authorities said the unique pieces taken would be easily identified, which could make it difficult for the robbers to sell them.
“It is uncommon for most citizens to possess such minerals,” the CHP said in a statement.
It was the second heist this year of rare, valuable metals in Northern California. In February, thieves made off with large chunks of gold that were on display in a Siskiyou County courthouse.
Investigators were trying to determine if there is a connection between the two heists.

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Renoir artwork from flea market now thought stolen……



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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Renoir painting that caused a sensation when it was bought at a flea market for $7 may have been stolen from a museum six decades ago, and an auction house has put its sale on hold.
The planned Saturday auction was canceled Thursday after a reporter for The Washington Post discovered documents in the Baltimore Museum of Art’s library showing that the painting was on loan there from 1937 until 1951, when it was stolen.
The Impressionist painting, whose title translates as “Landscape on the Banks of the Seine,” was purchased two years ago at a West Virginia flea market. The buyer, a Virginia woman who has not revealed her name, took it to auction house The Potomack Co. in July, and experts there confirmed it was by the French master Pierre-Auguste Renoir. The frame of the painting includes a “Renoir” plaque.
It had been expected to fetch $75,000 or more at auction.
“Potomack is relieved this came to light in a timely manner as we do not want to sell any item without clear title,” Elizabeth Wainstein, the owner of the Alexandria, Va.-based auction house, said in a statement.
Potomack and museum officials have notified the FBI about the theft, and an FBI spokesman said the bureau was investigating.
The documents uncovered by The Post in the museum’s library indicated that the painting was part of the collection of Saidie May, a major donor to the BMA. It was reported stolen on Nov. 17, 1951, according to the documents, although there is no known police report and the painting does not appear on a worldwide registry of stolen art.
The reported theft occurred shortly after May’s death, and the painting had not yet been formally accepted into the museum’s collection, which is why museum officials did not initially realize it had been there, BMA director Doreen Bolger said.
“We were caught by surprise,” Bolger said Thursday.
Bolger said she would be happy to show the painting again if it is ultimately returned to the museum.
“As this unfolds, we’ll find out more about the ownership of the painting,” she said. “If the painting is ours, we would be pleased to have it on view.”

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