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Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge
   2016-04-19 12:36:26    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Li Linxi

Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge [Photo: CRIENGLISH.com] 

By Mark Griffiths

In 2012 an organised criminal gang broke into Cambridge¡¯s Fitzwilliam Museum and stole more than a dozen Chinese antiquities representing hundreds of years of Chinese history. In March 2016, four years after the break-in, 14 members of the crime gang were finally brought to justice at Birmingham Crown Court. The historical treasures they stole have never been recovered and are valued at GBP15 million, about RMB150 million. The theft has inadvertently brought a lot of publicity to one of Britain¡¯s oldest and finest museums, the Fitzwilliam, which is well worth a visit if you¡¯re planning to go to the UK this year.

In 2016 more than 4.7 million Chinese people are expected to visit Britain, with the most popular tourist destinations being London, Edinburgh, Manchester, Oxford and Cambridge. Many Chinese tourists will head straight for London¡¯s British Museum, but Room 33 which houses many of the Chinese artefacts will be closed for renovations until 2017. So there has perhaps never been a better time to take the 45 minute train journey from London to Cambridge, a city which is home to one of the world¡¯s most famous universities and also one of Britain¡¯s oldest and most interesting museums.

Cambridge is an ancient city with architectural treasures around every corner. The city¡¯s famous university was founded in the year 1209 and the Fitzwilliam Museum has an equally impressive provenance, having been founded 200 years ago in 1816. The Senior Assistant Keeper of the Fitzwilliam Museum¡¯s unique collection of Chinese antiquities is Taiwan-born Dr James Lin, who gained a Master¡¯s Degree and PhD in Art History at Oxford University and has also been associated with Oxford¡¯s Ashmolean Museum and London¡¯s British Museum, where he helped to set up the Jade Gallery.

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