New Brunswick

Heavy bronze plaques stolen from New Brunswick Museum

Saint John police are investigating the disappearance of four bronze plaques that were pried from the walls of the New Brunswick Museum and may be headed for the scrap metal market.

'It looks like they used something like a crowbar.': 4 heavy plaques stolen from Douglas Ave. building

The wall where four bronze plaques were stolen from the facade of the N.B. Museum's collections centre on Douglas Avenue. The remaining plaques were removed and taken indoors for safekeeping. (Brian Chisholm/CBC)

Saint John police are investigating the disappearance of four bronze plaques that were pried from the walls of the New Brunswick Museum's collections centre on Douglas Avenue and may be headed for the scrap metal market. 

"They had been removed forcibly from the wall," said Jane Fullerton, CEO of the museum.
Jane Fullerton, CEO of the N.B. Museum, says the plaques were inscribed with the stories of New Brunswickers who'd made a significant contribution to the province's history. (Brian Chisholm/CBC)

"It looks like they used something like a crowbar and it must have been several people because they are very large and very heavy."

Fullerton says the plaques, which belong to the federal government, were inscribed with the stories of significant New Brunswickers and they were designed to last outdoors in the elements. 

Five remaining plaques have been taken inside for safekeeping for now. 
This is a photo of the John Hamilton Gray plaque that was stolen, along with three others. (NB Museum)

Scrap metal dealers say bronze and copper alloys can fetch as much as $1.60 per pound at the moment and each stolen plaque probably weighed more than 100 pounds.

The plaques, produced by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, recognized Sir Charles Carter Drury, John Hamilton Gray, George McCall Theal and John Clarence Webster.  

"From the museum's perspective, the one that is most strongly connected is John Webster," said Fullerton.

"He was one of the founders of the museum and donated significant material to the museum, including paintings and artifacts," she said. 
These are some of the remaining plaques that were removed and moved inside. (Brian Chisholm/CBC)

The remaining plaques, which tell the stories of James de Mille, Sir George Parkin, William Henry Steeves, Sir George Eulas Foster and William Frances Ganong are now being stored within the Collections and Research Centre.

There was a rash of thefts involving commemorative plaques in Fredericton last year. Three heavy plates were taken from the downtown cenotaph less than a month before Remembrance Day. 

The museum is asking anyone with information about last week's incident to report it to the Saint John police.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rachel Cave is a CBC reporter based in Saint John, New Brunswick.

now