According to the news of The Telegraph newspaper, it was stated that the staff, whom the British Museum announced on August 16, that it was dismissed due to responsibility for lost, stolen and damaged works, is Peter Higgs, the curator working in the field of Mediterranean cultures, Hellenistic sculptures and artifacts.
Higgs’ family, who has been working at the museum for nearly 30 years, announced that the curator was fired last month and that an investigation has been carried out against him for a while.
A jewel from the Roman period was sold for 40 strr.
An unnamed foreign expert speaking to the newspaper said that an embossed onyx stone from the Roman period was sold on eBay for 40 pounds (approximately 1300 lira).
Noting that its real value is between 25 thousand (approximately 863 thousand liras) and 50 thousand pounds (about 1 million 726 thousand liras), the expert noted that the jewelery has been waiting to be auctioned on the site since 2016.
The historical artifact expert said that he warned a British colleague about the issue in 2020, who said that the museum would not be interested in this information because it was “extremely embarrassing”.
The expert also underlined that the photographs of some of the artifacts offered for sale on the site are not found in the museum catalogue, adding that the seller had this information, and therefore the artifacts in question may have been stolen.
Thief “behaved carelessly”
Speaking to the newspaper, another expert said that the person who put the works for sale “behaved carelessly” uploaded some of the works that could be checked from the catalogue, and that the jewelry on which the reliefs of women and Priapos were engraved on onyx was one of them.
Noting that the name of the account that sold the work on eBay was “sultan1966”, experts pointed out that Higgs’ username on Twitter, which was named X, was also “sultan1966”.
Experts stated that they asked this question to the seller in 2016, but the seller denied this relationship, and noted that the second piece offered for sale was a ring stone with a male relief, and a photograph of it was found in the museum catalogue.
Despite the museum’s statement on Wednesday that the artifacts in question are in storage for academic research, not for exhibition, archaeologist Dorothy Lobel King said, “It is very difficult to say which artifacts are not in the museum. The museum has not accepted the lost for two years, but only for academic research this year. I couldn’t see any of the reliefs.” said.
Higgs fired complains about warehouses
It was also brought up again regarding the interview of Higgs in the Sunday Times newspaper in 2002, which is the focus of the allegations.
In this interview, Higgs complained about the disorder and losses in the warehouses and said, “There is total chaos.” used expressions.
The British Museum, which is shown as one of the most important museums in the world with approximately 8 million works in its collection, shared with the public on August 16 that many works were lost, stolen or damaged, without giving a number.
While it was stated that an unnamed staff member was dismissed due to his responsibility, both the London Metropolitan Police and the museum management launched an investigation.