Police recover some of stolen Canadian museum art

Mon Jun 9, 2008 3:49pm EDT
 
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VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Reuters) - Canadian police have recovered at least some of the C$2 million ($2 million) in art and jewelry stolen last month from a Vancouver museum, an official said on Monday.

Investigators acting on a tip raided several locations in the Vancouver area looking for the 15 pieces of mostly gold art, including 12 items crafted by renowned Canadian Haida artist Bill Reid, police said.

A Royal Canadian Mounted Police spokeswoman said at least some of the art had been recovered, but declined to release other details or say what condition the works were in. It was not known if there had been any arrests.

The items, which also included three Mexican necklaces, were stolen on May 24 from the Museum of Anthropology by thieves who broke into the building during the night, apparently bypassing the alarm system.

Museum officials and Reid's wife had initially feared the theft was motivated more by the value of the gold than the value of the artworks, and voiced concerns the jewelry would be melted down and destroyed. More than C$50,000 in rewards was offered for the items' safe return.

Reid, who died in 1998, crafted the works with designs inspired by the stories of the Haida Indians of the Queen Charlotte Islands on Canada's Pacific Coast.

(Reporting Allan Dowd, editing by Rob Wilson)