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About 15 items of 7th to 14th century gilt bronze and gold smallwork were taken from the BM's Joseph E. Hotung Gallery of Oriental antiquities between 10am on Friday and 10am on Saturday. No display cases had been smashed, no alarms were triggered and there was no sign of forced entry to the building - leading police to conclude the theft took place while the gallery was open to members of the public.

Carol Michaelson, assistant keeper of the department of Asia at the BM, issued an appeal for the trade to be vigilant given the possibility of the items surfacing during the ongoing Asian Art in London festivities or some time afterwards.

The V&A lost nine jades in a well-organised theft on the afternoon of October 4. Thieves smashed a display cabinet in the ceramics galleries, making off with three small cups and a bowl, two small ornamental plaques, a small ritual cylinder c.1000BC and two small animal figures, all made of a dark, green-brown jade.

The two museums are believed to be in contact, discussing a potential connection between the two thefts or the possibility of a copycat operation.

The Metropolitan Police (Kentish Town Police Station) have a full record and pictures of the stolen items, as does the Art Loss Register.