A number of priceless antiquities have been stolen from the National Collection at the Belize City House of Culture. Several pieces of silverware which date back as far as the 1800’s when Queen Victoria and King George reigned over the United Kingdom were stolen from unlocked display cases at the House of Culture.
A total of eight invaluable artifacts are missing and they include: a cigar box, a ten inch teapot with a floral design, a teapot that is inscribed with the words VR Government House, two Round Tureens – which is used to keep food warm, also inscribed VR Government House (One cover has a dent on the cover edge), an Oval Tureen with the words ER Government House and a pair of napkin holders with the words “GRI Government House inscribed to them.
The theft occurred during a period of nine weeks since the last inventory of the items was taken in August. Director of the Museum of Belize and House of Culture, Sherilyne Jones called in the media to announce the theft of the priceless pieces of Belize’s History.
"We have never had any of the display cases under lock and key, not from the history of the House been open,” commented Jones to Belize City media. “We felt pretty much secure with our staff and the people that come in on a daily basis."
In fact the only security presence is outside at the police booth - there are no guards inside and visitors can lead themselves through a tour. The building is open and the cabinet is unlocked.
According to Jones, the police are conducting their investigations but she thought it was very important to bring to light what happened so that the public is aware that these items missing and are either in the country or out of the country. Local and international coverage is important and needed for the successful recovery of the items.
The National Institute of Culture and History is offering a reward for the recovery of these National Treasures. You can call collect to 223-4524 if you have information.