Veteran Curator Peter Higgs Alleged to Have Pilfered Priceless Artifacts from British Museum

9Nov. 7, 2023

Veteran Curator Peter Higgs …

Noted curator Peter Higgs on August 17 was named in English dailiesThe TimesandThe Telegraphas the British Museum staffer fired last month in the wake of the discovery that a number of invaluable objects had gone missing from the London institution’s storeroom in recent years. Higgs, who had spent more than three decades working for the museum, is one of the world’s top authorities on ancient Greek and Mediterranean artifacts and a member of the institution’s “Monuments Men” team, which traces looted antiquities with the aim of repatriating them or putting them on display. He recently curated the exhibition “Ancient Greeks: Athletes, Warriors, and Heroes,” which opened at the British Museum in 2021 before touring to venues in Australia and China.RelatedHELEN FRANKENTHALER FOUNDATION SUED FOR “DESTROYING” PAINTER’S LEGACYBMA CREATES PAID INTERNSHIPS HONORING VALERIE MAYNARD Though he is suspected of having engaged in stealing from the museum as far back as 2016, Higgs was fingered back in 2020, after an unnamed expert noticed precious objects for sale on eBay that appeared to be purloined and notified the museum. The institution did not take action until this year, when a piece of Roman jewelry offered on the online auction site was traced back to one of its departments. Investigators found that the pseudonymous eBay account via which the piece was posted was connected to a PayPal account that in turn linked to an X (formerly Twitter) account bearing Higgs’s real name.

Police are currently looking into the disappearance of items from the museum dating to between 1500 BCE and the nineteenth century. Though a list of the missing objects has not been made public, many are said to be of diminutive size, made variously of gold and incorporating semiprecious stones. Higgs has thus far not been charged with any crime, and has firmly proclaimed his innocence. His son Greg toldThe Telegraphthat the now-jobless curator is “devastated” and has “lost all faith in the museum.”.