After it became known that numerous objects had been stolen from the British Museum in London, the chairman of the board of trustees, George Osborne, estimated the number of stolen objects at around 2000. “But I have to say that this is a very preliminary number,” Osborne told the BBC on Saturday. “We have started to secure some of the stolen items, which is a blessing in disguise.”

The former UK Treasury Secretary said the missing items were “small trinkets, jewels, pieces of gold that were not on public display”.

In mid-August it became known that gold jewelry, jewelry made of semi-precious stones and glass art from the 15th century BC to the 19th century AD had been stolen from the British Museum. An employee was fired because of the theft, and the police say they are working flat out to find the objects. Police confirmed on Thursday that a man had been questioned. But there were no arrests.

According to Osborne, the British Museum does not have a complete inventory of its collection. Someone who knows what isn’t recorded has a great advantage, Osborne said. The exhibition house must accelerate the ongoing process of cataloging its works.

The director of the British Museum, Hartwig Fischer, resigned on Friday. The German art historian explained that he takes responsibility for the fact that the museum did not react “as comprehensively as necessary” to reports of theft that had already been made in 2021.

Osborne attributed failures on the part of the museum’s management to “groupthink,” according to which no one could have believed that “an insider,” a museum employee, was stealing objects. The antique dealers would work with the museum to recover some missing items.

Founded in 1753, the British Museum is one of the most famous exhibition venues in the world. His collection includes around eight million objects, including Egyptian mummies and the famous Rosetta Stone, which was used to decode the hieroglyphs.