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Three held over theft of Chinese artefacts from Durham museum | UK news

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Category: Education
Published on Sunday, 08 April 2012 Written by Super User
Durham cathedral

Two Chinese artefacts were stolen from the Oriental Museum at Durham University. Photograph: Eamonn McCabe

Two Chinese artefacts stolen in a break-in at a university museum are estimated to be worth £2 million, according to police.

Two men and a woman from the West Midlands area have been arrested in connection with the raid on the Oriental Museum at Durham University on Thursday night. However, the two artefacts have not been recovered.

Police said there was a break-in at a ground floor gallery in the building at about 10.40pm.

The stolen items were believed to be a large jade bowl with a Chinese poem written inside that dates back to 1769, and a Dehua porcelain sculpture.

They are understood to be Qing dynasty pieces which were in the museum's Malcolm MacDonald Gallery.

"We are extremely upset to have fallen victim to such a serious crime," museum curator Craig Barclay said in a statement. "The two pieces are highly significant."

A police officer said: "We are still trying to locate several outstanding suspects in relation to this investigation.

"We believe those individuals would be aware of the police investigation and would urge them to contact us without delay."

The incident has forced the museum to close over Easter.

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