Peabody Museum Reports Theft of Indian Objects

A collection of carved bone ivory charms and drinking tubes was reported missing from the Peabody Museum last week.

The theft of the art objects was reported to the Harvard police last Thursday, with a request became public when it appeared in the Cambridge police log yesterday.

Cambridge police reports list the value of the missing objects at $50,000. But Stephen Williams, director of the Peabody Musum, last night called that figure inflated and said the carvings were worth "$10,000 at tops."

Identity, Date Unknown

Spokesmen for both the Harvard and Cambridge police said last night that they have no clues as to the identity of the thief or thieves, and no idea of the exact date of the theft.


A Harvard police spokesman said last night that the theft occurred some time between early September and last week.

Neither the Harvard nor the Cambridge police known how the robbery occurred, spokesmen said.

Williams said last night that he "would not call this a robbery--this was a removal of materials from a storage area." He declined to comment on whether he believed the robbery was performed by someone associated with the museum.

A Harvard police spokesman said last night that the Peabody Museum is protected by an alarm system, and that the alarm has not been triggered since the beginning of the fall term.

The art objects--three- and four-inch home charms carved by Alaskan and Northwest Coast Indians during the 19th century--were scheduled to be photographed by the museum this week to be added to its acquisition files.

The theft was the second major robbery from a Harvard museum in the past year.

Coin Theft

Thieves last December stole more than 5600 ancient Greek and Roman coins, valued between $1 million and $5 million, from the Fogg Art Museum's coin room.

Daniel Steiner '54, general counsel to the University, said last night that the Federal Bureau of Investigation "is still working hard on the case," but that the coins have not been recovered.