National museum suffers £60,000 of thefts in five years

James VI coins and a Mary, Queen of Scots three pound piece among the items stolen.

Stolen: The James the VI coin was taken in 2015.
Stolen: The James the VI coin was taken in 2015.

Items worth approximately £60,000 have been stolen from the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh over the past five years.

The five items include some rare finds including two James VI coins from the 17th century and a Mary, Queen of Scots gold three pound piece from 1555.

It was part of a group of three coins stolen from the museum in 2015.

Edinburgh coin expert Hiram Brown estimated the coins were worth around £20,000.

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Two carved oak panels were also taken from the museum, both in 2014.

Both panels are part of a collection of eight Beaton panels.

All eight of the Beaton panels were acquired by the museum in 1987 for £190,380, according to a grant request from Art Fund, putting the cost of a single panel at around £23,000.

The museum said it cannot comment on active cases, or discuss any security measures in detail.

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Communications manager Susan Gray added: “National Museums Scotland has a wide range of security arrangements in place which are regularly reviewed.”

Police Scotland Detective Constable Mark Seymour said: “We continue to pursue various lines of inquiry in relation to these thefts.

“If you have any information relevant to this investigation then please contact police immediately.”

Items stolen or missing

2014: Beaton panel featuring Arma Christi from late 15th century.

2014: Beaton panel featuring gothic fenestration from late 15th century.

2015: James VI gold coin with sword and scepter dated 1601.

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2015: James VI gold coin dated 1604.

2015: Mary, Queen of Scots gold three pound piece dated 1555.


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