The theft affair that rocks the British Museum

Predictably, the British Museum sued Peter Higgs, its former chief curator of the museum's department of Greek and Roman antiquities. He was fired in July 2023, accused of having stolen more than 1,800 objects from the collections, including gold jewelry and precious stones, then of having sold several hundred of them on eBay.

At a hearing at the High Court in London on Tuesday March 26, the court ordered Peter Higgs to provide the museum with a comprehensive list of all the objects he stole and to return those still in his possession to a period of four weeks. PayPal, the online payment company, was ordered to provide data relating to Peter Higgs' eBay account along with his transaction history.

The museum's lawyers said Peter Higgs had “abused his position of trust” to steal the objects, trying to “covering our tracks by using false names, creating false documents and manipulating records stored in the museum’s computer systems”.

Peter Higgs did not attend the hearing, specifies the New York Times. The museum's lawyers explained that the former curator “suffered from severe mental strain” and that he was “unable to respond effectively to the procedure”. On the other hand, he would have filed a defense, thus contesting the accusations addressed to him.

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