Saturday, 17 March 2018

Hundreds of artefacts stolen from Canterbury Archaeological Trust recovered.

Hundreds of artefact's stolen from the Canterbury Archaeological Trust in Kent, England, in January this year have been recovered by Kent Police. The artefact's were found in an abandoned building a few streets from where they were originally stolen. The recovered items include hundreds of beads and other Anglo-Saxon items from excavations in Canterbury and St Albans (Hertfordshire). Many items are still missing after the break-in, though it is thought that most of these are replica items, such as weapons and coins, from the Trust's educational loans collection, plus modern tools used during archaeological excavations, which may have proved easier for the thieves to sell.

 Members of the Canterbury Archaeological Trust with stolen artifacts recovered by the police this week. Kent Messenger.

The thieves broke into the charity's premises in Canterbury on the night of Thursday 22-Friday 23 January 2018, then again on the night of Friday 23-Saturday 24, causing extensive damage to the charity's building and collection, breaking power and water lines and exposing asbestos, which had to be dealt with by a specialist contractor before other work could proceed. As well as the stolen items, many other artifacts were scattered and mixed, and will take hundreds of hours work by specialist workers to re-identify and properly curate; archaeological artifacts without proper records of their origin are of little value. The recovered items will now have to be treated in the same way, requiring many hours of work by the Trust's employees and volunteers.

Kent Police are still hoping to apprehend the thieves and recover those items that are still missing. Anyone with any information can contact Kent Police on 01843 222289 (+44 1843 222289 from outside the UK) and quote incident number ZY/4200/18. Alternatively Kent Crimestoppers can be called anonymously on 0800 555111 from within the UK only, or online here from anywhere in the world.

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