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Sri Lanka's national museum to be re-opened after theft

Sri Lanka,Art/Culture/Books,Indo-Pak/Pakistan, Tue, 17 Apr 2012 IANS

Colombo, April 17 (IANS) Sri Lanka's national museum which was robbed a month ago is to be re-opened soon under tight security, a spokesman said on Tuesday.


A senior official of the National Heritage Ministry told Xinhua that all sections of the museum will be opened to the public from April 25.


The Colombo National Museum was broken into March 17 and some historic items belonging to country's last kings were stolen.


Among the items stolen were several gold-embedded swords, gold rings, gem and jewel-embedded handles of walking sticks and some other artifacts belonging to the country's last kingdom before it became a Western colony.


The ministry has taken special measures to provide security to the museum with improvised system to keep it under close surveillance, the spokesman said.


The CCTV system, which was malfunctioning at the time of the theft, has been repaired and a new state-of-the-art alarm and a new CCTV system has been installed.


The police which are still probing the theft suspect involvement of museum security and had said that sniffer dogs have also led the sleuths to the security room.


At the time of the theft the CCTV camera system of the museum had been removed for maintenance. After the robbery, eight employees of the museum have been suspended and a number of employees have also been transferred.


Sri Lankan police have offered massive cash reward for information on the theft and the airport and sea ports have been placed on alert to prevent the stolen artifacts being smuggled out from the country.


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