TWO Chinese works of art valued at £1.8m have been stolen from Durham University’s Oriental Museum in a night-time raid.
Thieves got into the museum's Malcolm
MacDonald Gallery late on Thursday, April 5, making off with an
18th century jade bowl and a porcelain figure group. Museum
officials described the Qing dynasty objects as highly significant
examples of their type.
The large 15in (38.8cm) jade bowl, dating
from 1769, is from the collection of Sir Charles Hardinge, a
British collector of jades and other hardstones. A Chinese poem is
Also taken was a Dehua porcelain sculpture
with a cream white glaze of seven fairies in a boat measuring 11¾in
(30cm) in both height and length.
A spokeswoman for Durham police said it was
possible the items may have been stolen to order for a foreign
collector. The thriving Chinese art market has increased the risk
of raids on museums housing oriental collections, with smaller
museums particularly vulnerable.
Anyone with information about the burglary is asked to contact
Durham police on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers on