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Recent census finds 70 supposedly stolen historic artifacts

By M.ZOLJARGAL

A recent state census conducted at the National Museum of Mongolia (NMM) revealed 2,387 unregistered artifacts, stored in the archive of the museum. Among them, 70 were the artifacts which were reported missing or smuggled.
Archive Chief of the NMM B.Enkhbat was found guilty of stealing and smuggling 448 types of 1,024 artifacts, valued at 11 billion MNT, from the museum, following a census in 2008.
Chinggeltei District Court sentenced him to seven years in maximum security prison and a fine of 11 billion MNT to compensate for the museum’s loss in 2011.
However, 70 of the artifacts that were reported stolen by B.Enkhbat were found in the museum archive recently.
Sources close to the museum speculate that officials and museum staff who worked on the census might have intentionally reported that artifacts were missing in order to increase the penalty for B.Enkhbat. They also believe that other staff of the museum stole the items and blamed it on B.Enkhbat.
The last state census prior to this year’s was conducted in 2012 and the finalized results haven’t been announced until now.
The case was initiated in August 2007, when citizen J.Munkhbat was caught at the Zamiin-Uud border trying to smuggle several historically significant artifacts to China. An investigation later found that B.Enkhbat owed him a large sum of money and gave J.Munkhbat the artifacts he had stolen as payment.
J.Munkhbat was sentenced to three years in prison in 2011.
The smuggled artifacts are being tracked by Interpol and none of them has been found yet, except for the 70 artifacts that were found to have never been stolen.

Short URL: http://ubpost.mongolnews.mn/?p=12908

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