Thieves have broken into the main archive of Canterbury Archaeological Trust in Canterbury, Kent, United Kingdom. The place got ransacked, thousands of artefacts were thrown to the ground and some were stolen.
The night-time raids occurred between January 22 and 24. According to Trust director, Paul Bennett, metal thieves have been systematically removing copper and lead pipes and stripping cables across the complex, breaking holes through walls to get from one property to another, for the past six to eight weeks. All this metal theft had been happening without the Trust’s knowledge without the Police being informed. The kitchen and toilet were stripped of pipes, causing hundreds of pounds worth of damage. A heavy-duty electric cable was cut and stripped for copper wire. The workshop was broken into and numerous hand tools were stolen, including electric drills and chisels. But what is most important, over 1500 items are missing, but other finds had been scattered around the buildings, leaving volunteers facing hours of work to re-catalogue and record the exact losses.
The finds kept within the establishment were the result of the numerous digs which had taken place over the past 40 years in the city centre. The haul includes hundreds of coins, Anglo-Saxon coloured glass beads, brooches, buckles, bone objects, dress accessories, metal fittings, axes, a plaster bust of Queen Victoria, and an assortment of bone objects. The thieves ransacked educational loans collection, disturbing 90% of the 200 loan boxes, and stealing replica metal axes, pins, coins and other items.
Anyone with information about the theft is asked to contact police at a UK phone number: 01843 222289.
(after Kent Online)