A fifth man linked to the Fitzwilliam Museum burglary has pleaded not guilty to charges. 21 year-old Thomas Kiely from London claimed he was not involved in the theft of £15 million worth of rare Chinese art, which took place in April of last year. Four other men, one as young as 16, have all been sentenced.
The other men charged in connection with the burglary have each received six-year jail terms, apart from 16 year-old Marvin Simos, who was given a four-month detention and training order.
The jade artifacts, which have been described by a Cambridge Crown Court judge as, “pieces of incalculable cultural significance”, are yet to be recovered. The Fitzwilliam has already promised to offer a “substantial reward” for information leading to the treasure’s ultimate recovery.
Yet art enthusiasts remain concerned. Thomas Cunningham, a second-year Chinese student, who has visited Chinese art exhibitions at the Fitzwilliam Museum, told The Cambridge Student: “The Fitzwilliam cannot afford to let such artifacts go missing. Aside from their monetary value, these jade treasures also have a considerable cultural value, so I really hope they are recovered soon.”
The Fitzwilliam Museum refused to comment on the events.
Kiely will now face trial on charges of conspiracy to commit burglary on a date in May, as yet undecided.
Freddie Green -News Reporter