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A 13th or 14th century yellow and russet jade carving of a monkey holding a peach, one of the items stolen in the raid on the Museum of East Asian Art in Bath.

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Four masked men were seen by witnesses breaking in and leaving in a dark-coloured SUV, having smashed a first-floor window.

Several display cabinets were broken open to steal a total of 46 Chinese works of art. These included a collection of small handling jades dating from the Yuan to the Qing periods, bamboo and bronze scholars’ objects plus a group of early Ming gold belt plaques.

One of the missing items, a 13th or 14th century yellow and russet jade carving of a monkey holding a peach.

The objects had been part of the permanent collection since the museum was founded 25 years ago.

Curator Nicole Chiang told ATG pictures of all the stolen items will soon be available to view on the institution’s website.

The theft follows a series of similar attacks on Chinese works of art collections earlier in the decade.

Anyone with information should call 101, quoting reference 5218081649, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.