Home Arts Hunt underway in Sheffield after valuables were stolen from city center museum in dawn robbery

Hunt underway in Sheffield after valuables were stolen from city center museum in dawn robbery

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A hunt for ‘irreplaceable’ artefacts is underway in the UK city of Sheffield after a ‘carefully planned robbery’ was executed at the city’s Kelham Island Museum.

Unidentified persons broke into the museum at dawn on Sunday May 14. Local media reported that the thieves used angle grinders to break into shop windows, before fleeing with 12 items on display as part of a new exhibition, Sheffield Treasures.

The heist is the latest in a series of targeted thefts from museums and heritage sites in the Sheffield area. Artefacts were also stolen in an overnight raid at Rotherham’s Clifton Park museum in April, while the Sheffield Assay Office was targeted by looters in January. Police have not confirmed whether the burglaries could be linked. Sheffield Museums said they are “reviewing security at all of their museum sites” following the most recent theft.

“This is the latest in a string of thefts in the city and these criminals must be stopped,” Ashley Carson of the Sheffield Assay Office, the city’s precious metals hallmarking authority, said in a statement. statement.

Each artifact stolen from the Kelham Island Museum is an excellent example of Steel City’s metalwork heritage and includes ornate blades created by some of the city’s most historic craftsmen, including William Needham, Stan Shaw and Steven Cocker. The earliest artefacts date back to the 18th century and include items on loan from the Sheffield Assay Office and the Ken Hawley Collection Trust.

In a statementKim Streets, chief executive of Sheffield Museums Trust, said the objects are an “irreplaceable testament to the skill and excellence that have earned Sheffield makers a worldwide reputation. Their historical significance far exceeds any financial value they hold.

South Yorkshire Police have appealed to locals to help recover the items, fearing they could be trafficked out of the country and sold on the black market.

“Some of these items are likely to find their way into the marketplace and are very distinctive,” Streets said in the statement. “We urge the public to be vigilant and to share any information they have which may aid in their recovery with South Yorkshire Police.”

In a statement published on its website, South Yorkshire Police said the offenders remained “unknown”. “Officers want to hear from anyone who may have information about the break-in or may have seen the items for sale online or in person,” he said.

The Kelham Island Museum is a much-loved institution in Sheffield. It opened in 1982 on one of Sheffield’s oldest manufacturing sites, formed over 900 years ago when a stream was diverted to supply a nearby mill built on an artificial island in the River Don. Its surrounding streets were a beehive of industry during Sheffield’s industrial revolution in the 19th century, but, by the time the museum opened, the area had suffered from declining manufacturing and steel industries.

In recent years, however, buildings that were once cutlery and steel works, factories and workshops have been revived and refurbished, with a number of independent and commercial galleries opening in the area alongside shopping arcades, bars and craft shops, including steel artisans. and cutlers. The theft “represents a much greater loss” to the city of Sheffield, Carson said.

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