Trust defends security after silver stolen
May 18 2010 by Our Correspondent, Western Mail
THE National Trust defended its security measures yesterday following the theft of silverware thought to be worth thousands of pounds in a break-in at a stately home.
Thieves made off with high-value Indian silver items from the Eastern Museum at Kedleston Hall in Derby in the early hours of May 2.
Lady Scarsdale, whose son Richard Curzon lives at the neo-classical mansion, has reportedly criticised the National Trust, which runs it, for neglecting security there.
She said: “We told them security had to improve. We asked for CCTV to be installed, but nothing has been done even though there have been two other attempted burglaries in the past three years.
“It’s shocking really.”
But the Trust insisted that “every effort” was made to prevent damage and theft at its properties.
Victoria Flanagan, property manager of Kedleston Hall, said: “The National Trust has a very strict annual security audit process.
“In addition, security is always reviewed after a break-in attempt and appropriate remedial actions are taken.
“In light of the recent break-in at Kedleston Hall, the Trust is working closely with security advisers and the police to assess the current security systems and all possible steps will be taken to prevent future break-ins.
“Security is of paramount importance to the National Trust, especially due to the value of the collections held at many of its properties.”
Intruder alarms were activated in the building immediately after the theft and police attended the scene but the thieves were not caught, Derbyshire Constabulary said.
Among the loot stolen from the hall was a silver wine cooler, silver bowl, silver frame containing a photograph of Lady Curzon and two silver caskets.
Most of the objects were acquired by Lord Curzon while he was Viceroy of India between 1889 and 1905, although the wine cooler was made in 1916 by Francis Adams out of pieces of Indian silver.
Ms Flanagan added: “For the National Trust, as a registered charity, losing these objects which are irreplaceable and of great importance to the collection is extremely sad. We would urge anyone who has any information to contact the police.”
Police are also appealing for anyone with information about the theft.