Ancient artifacts stolen from Montreal museum

Handsome reward is now being offered in excess of $10,000.

Jennifer Coxby Jennifer Cox

Two ancient antiques were stolen from the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts back in October 2011, however details as well as the video surveillance tape that caught the culprit had been kept private so as to ensure that the police investigation was not compromised. Well, after coming up with no leads, they are now turning to the public for information and are offering a "substantial" reward.

While AXA Art, the company insuring the museum for the stolen pieces and one of the world’s largest art-insurance companies, has not specified an exact amount in terms of reward money (other than saying it would be substantial), they are offering a lot of money for the return of the artifacts, as well as $10,000 to anyone who can identify the thief in the surveillance video. The one suspect they have footage of appears to be a male in his 30s, and he's about five-foot-seven in height.

The two items in question are a Persian bas-relief and a marble head dating from the Roman Empire, both of which costs tens of thousands of dollars each. They were taken from the first floor of the Hornstein Pavilion of the MMFA during opening hours on October 26th. According to the Winnipeg Free Press, Danielle Champagne, a spokeswoman for the MMFA, said security has been tightened in some areas of the museum since the robbery happened last year.

“The museum is terribly disappointed, not least because they offer a low-level-looking security system to enable visitors to see these items up-close,” said Mark Dalrymple, an art-theft recovery specialist and London-based loss adjuster with Tyler & Co. who is working on behalf of AXA Art, the museum and the Sureté du Québec (according to The Globe & Mail). “Beyond the financial value of these pieces, there is the loss to the people of Quebec. The museum would very much like to see these antiquities returned.”