Rare artefacts stolen from Nat’l Museum
A number of rare objects including a gold cross of Queen Victoria and 17 old coins with archaeological value have been stolen from the National Museum.
The museum authorities have filed a case with Shahbagh Police Station in this regard mentioning that a total of 26 rare objects were stolen.
Among those, five were gold medals, three silver medals and an Ekushey Padak and 17 rare coins of Coochbihar, Assam and Tripura.
The medals include Nababjada Latifur Rahman gold medal, Queen Victoria gold medal and Ekushey medal.
Prakash Chandra Das, director general of the museum, told The Daily Star that they were not sure that exactly 26 objects were stolen as they could not complete the whole checklist of artefacts yet.
“It could be more than 26 or less than that. So far we have found around 26 of them are missing,” he said.
The last partial inventory of the objects was conducted in 2004 where the names of the stolen objects were mentioned. Since then many people were engaged in the process, the DG said.
“Those might have been lost any time after 2004 as none noticed it,” said Prakash, the newly appointed director general of the museum.
Prakash first came to know about the theft at the gallery no. 21 on April 26 this year.
The authorities then conducted an internal investigation that suspected five employees of the museum.
The probe body, formed on June 30, decided to suspend deputy keeper Noor-e Nasrin, assistant keeper Saifuzzaman and security guards Dulal Mia, Abdul Karim and Alamgir Chowdhury.
Earlier, museum secretary Alam Ara Begum filed a case with Shahbagh Police Station on June 26 in connection with the heist.
Investigating officer of the case and Shahbagh thana SI Abdur Rahim told The Daily Star said that so far no one has been arrested in this connection and “the investigation is on”.
He said Dr Rezaul Karim, an official of the department, recently went on LPR (leave preparatory to retirement). “He would be interrogated in this connection.”
SI Rahim, however, declined to go into details “in the interest of secrecy of the case”.
Talking to The Daily Star, a senior official of the museum said they noticed those artefacts missing for the last three years. But they could not go for any action due to the existing situation in the country and some high officials of the museum.
An official of the museum said that they did not see those artefacts in last three years. But the officials concerned did not check the inventory properly.
“Checking the inventory is a huge task as the number of the artefacts in the museum is over 86,000,” said the director general.