Stolen Wenlok Jug recovered - Museums Association

Stolen Wenlok Jug recovered

Man charged with handling stolen property
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Rebecca Atkinson
The Wenlok Jug, which was stolen from a high-security display case at the Stockwood Discovery Centre in May, has been recovered by Bedfordshire Police.

The artefact was found in the early hours of Monday morning at a property in Tadworth, Surrey. Two people were arrested at the location. One has been charged with handling stolen property and the second has been released on police bail pending further enquiries.

The jug, a rare example of metalwork dating from the 15th century, has now been returned to the centre, which intends to put it back on display at a later date yet to be decided.

Karen Perkins, director of museums at Luton Culture, which runs the Stockwood Discovery Centre, said: “We are thrilled that the Wenlok Jug has been successfully recovered and would like to thank Bedfordshire Police for their diligence and hard work over the course of the investigation so far."

The theft occurred at 11.22pm on Saturday 12 May when a man wearing a hoodie and a scarf to cover his face, and carrying a NIKE sling bag, climbed the fence to the Stockwood Discovery Centre, smashed first the door and then the security cabinet with a heavy metal object and stole the jug.

A £25,000 reward was previously offered for the safe return of the Wenlok Jug. An investigation into the theft continues and the police have appealed to the public for any further information.

The Wenlok jug was subject to an export bar in 2005 after it went for auction at Sotheby's and was nearly sold to the Metropolitan Museum in New York.

Luton Museums Service raised the £750,000 needed to keep the jug in the UK through a national fundraising campaign and had financial support from the National Heritage Memorial Fund, the Art Fund, the Headley Trust, the Friends of Luton Museums and others.

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