Police Departments Investigate Robbery at Fogg Art Museum

A Chinese jade container, worth approximately $20,000, has been stolen from the Fogg Art Museum.

The Boston, Cambridge and Harvard University Police Departments are investigating the loss. However, Saul L. Chafin, chief of the Harvard Police, said yesterday his department does not yet have any leads on the case. The Boston and Cambridge detectives working on the case were not available for comment yesterday.


The artifact, discovered missing Monday afternoon, is listed as a late eighteenth or early nineteenth century piece from the Ch'ing dynasty. It is six inches high by seven inches wide and has translucent sides of mottled bright green jade. Carved dragons and lions decorate the sides and cover of the container.


The piece was part of an exhibit of 70 Chinese ceramic and jade objects donated to the museum from the collection of Ernest B. Dane '27 and Helen Pratt Dane. The exhibit has been on display at the Fogg since October 4.

Weldon L. Kennedy, assistant special agent in charge of the Boston office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), said yesterday his office is aware of the case, but is "not conducting any active investigation" at this time.

Kennedy added that if the bureau finds any evidence that the piece has crossed state lines, it will investigate the case.

The last theft at the museum was in 1973, when a collection of Greek and Roman coins was stolen. Almost all of those pieces were eventually recovered.

"The theft psychologically dampens everyone's spirit in the museum." Robert Mowry, curator of Oriental Art at the Fogg, said yesterday