The British Museum lost a Cartier diamond ring worth nearly a million dollars in 2011, it recently revealed in a public financial report.
The ring was given to the museum in 2001 by an anonymous donor and was not on display when it was discovered missing from the museum’s study collection in August 2011, Business Insider reported.
Police were notified of the situation and did not take action on the matter, The Guardian reported. A search for the ring also occurred in 2016 because the museum was required to report the ring as lost five years after first noting its disappearance. It was written off in the recent financial report of the museum, which was released July 13.
Art Recovery International founder Chris Marinello said that the museum should have reported the theft to jewelry groups and others that might come across it, if it had been stolen. It wasn’t clear from the report whether a theft had taken place, or whether the ring had been misplaced among the millions of items in the museum’s collection, The Guardian reported.
University of Glasgow lecturer Donna Yates said, “Even when an organization has perfect security, losses occur,” adding that it could have been bumped and lost or filed in the wrong place rather than stolen, The Guardian reported.
Museum security expert Ton Cremers thought it was a theft, probably an inside job, and that the museum should consider imposing security checks on staff to prevent further losses, The Guardian reported.
A spokesperson for the museum said that the museum had spent a significant amount of money to improve security measures after the loss, The Guardian reported.
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