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Nov 15, 2011

Empire’s old Colonial relics stolen from HOC

There is a burglary of major historic proportions to report tonight. Exactly a week ago, it was discovered that thieves had stolen a number of priceless antiquities from the House of Culture. The burglary was not reported in the daily police blotter but we can say that the items have historical importance and form part of the national colonial collection of the past governors who resided at the then Governor’s House.  Belize City police are trying to unravel who stole eight vintage pieces of silverware which were on display at the gallery inside the left wing of the building.  The antiquities, the oldest of which dates back to the early nineteenth century, include a cigar box; two teapots, one with floral embellishments and another with the words ‘VR Government House’ engraved on it.Two round tureens, also with the ‘VR Government House’ imprint; an oval tureen with the inscription ‘ER Government House’ and a pair of napkin holders also etched with the words ‘GRI Government House, are also missing.  The theft  is as baffling as that of the arsenal stolen from the BDF armory in Price Barracks last October but it pales in historical importance. While the assets are not directly under guard the House of Culture has a twenty-four hour police surveillance at the gates.  An inventory of all relics on exhibit at the House of Culture was last conducted on September twenty-fifth, leaving a window of approximately five weeks during which the items went missing.  They form part of an invaluable collection of Belize’s colonial patrimony. It is believed that the burglary may have been the result of an inside job since no signs of forced entry was detected at the building.

Sherilyne Jones

Sherilyne Jones, Director, Museum of Belize

“On November, in last week we noted that several items from the display case behind me were missing.  We immediately called the police and they came in and they did their fingerprint analysis and they checked the House for signs of breaking and they are continuing their investigations.”

Isani Cayetano

“One of the obvious questions at this point is that this particular compound remains under twenty-four hour police guard, have they made any statements with regards to what may have happened that day?”

Sherilyn Jones

“Not yet, like I said they are continuing their investigation.  They havent ruled out any possibilities or scenarios and as soon as they have completed that they will, you know, inform us to that regard.”

Isani Cayetano

“Can you give us an inventory of what specifically are missing?”

Sherilyn Jones

“There are eight pieces that are missing.  Two teapots, they are silver; two tureens.  Tureens are actually rounded bowls that you would serve soup or some sort of casserole meal.  There are some napkin, two napkin holders that have also been missing and a warmer, a food warmer.”

Isani Cayetano

“My understanding is that these items are virtually priceless.  They’ve been a staple here at the museum and they’ve withstood the test of time in terms of the reigns of several queens of England.  Can you elaborate a bit on that for us?”

Sherilyn Jones

“Yes indeed.  The pieces are actually commissioned, they were commissioned exactly for the Government House and they were used by the governors, successive governors throughout time.  They are, a couple of them are engraved with [the letters] VR for when Queen Victoria reigned and they are marked VR Government House and other pieces are engraved ER Government House and that speaks of the reign of Queen Elizabeth.  So the oldest piece dates back to the 1800s up until about 1901.”

NICH, the custodians of the national collection, is offering a reward for the successful recovery of the tableware that may have landed in the hands of art collectors.  Anyone with information on the whereabouts of the missing items is asked to call 223-4524.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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9 Responses for “Empire’s old Colonial relics stolen from HOC”

  1. Lucas says:

    SURPRISED?. Not me. If even the house of God is not respected, what can be?.

  2. Victoria says:

    WOW how idiotic and low can people get, those things are a part of our history

  3. belizeanpride says:

    ja someone wanted to make sure they can have a good christmas. what a shame if it would be found out it’s a inside job scenario. mein the thieves really lost the pride of being a belizean stilling the country’s history in either mischieve or greed for money. this is really outragous.

  4. Charlie Price says:

    Surprised??? NO INSIDE JOB??? YES.
    Fire everyone……


    There are a myriad of reasons why some people steal, this thief did not steal because he was hungry.

    What is even worse here is that a piece of history was stolen, and it only made headline news one week later, why?

    Belize need to set some standards.

  6. CEO says:

    Just check with the police on duty at the front gate the night the items went missing!

  7. CEO says:

    Oh by the way perhaps it would be a good idea to lock them up in a safe every night.

  8. deedee says:

    Even though the thief or thieves are squarely to blame for this, blame must also be put on those who are put there to take charge & monitor these items. You have to ask yourself the question…who keeps historical items & such in an unlock case/safe??????? Its the real world we are living in people, everything has a price…..even you, so you have to protect yourself & your valuables.

  9. MACAL RIVERA says:



  10. Eye In The Sky says:

    The JADE HEAD was stolen many years ago and the one we have in Belize is a REPLICA.

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