Speaker of the House, Arthur Holder SC, expects the Barbados Police Service to “soon” give the public an update on the items that have been reported missing from the Museum at Parliament.
In a rare statement, Holder, under whose portfolio Parliament falls, also listed the artefacts that were discovered missing in October and said a person of interest has been identified. Holder addressed the issue during Tuesday’s sitting of the House of Assembly, the first official response, about a month after the incident occurred.
“I have been informed that the finger prints results are back and I expect soon that the police would give an update to the public the stage that the investigation is at, because the footage has shown a particular person that is known to the police,” Holder said.
The Speaker said he was informed that the items were missing on October 11. On that day, the manager of Parliament’s Museum and two employees went to collect a wooden ballot box to show to students who were scheduled to visit Parliament.
Three days later he requested reports from Clerk of Parliament Pedro Eastmond, Randy Alleyne and Errol Walcott re “persons who had access to the museum and video footage”. Those reports arrived in succession from October 22 to 24 and he also met with the senior superintended of the Bridgetown Division to ascertain “what stage they were at relative to the investigation” on October 23.
The following items are missing:
A briefcase of Sir Grantley Adams
Two armorial badges
A flintlock pistol and two cutlasses
The royal blue jacket, black bowtie and yellow cumberband worn by the late Errol Barrow for Independence
Leather boots of the late Hon. Errol Barrow
Ceramic cup of Samuel Jackman Prescod
A conch shell
A black and white tobacco case with pipe on the inside
A rebate plane, three hand drills and awl
A police belt buckle from the 1937 Riots
The wing on Sir Frank Walcott’s icon
The Garry Sobers Icon graffiti ‘clean me, boss’
It was in the Sunday Sun of October 22 that the public was first informed that the priceless artefacts had been removed.
“No one knows when the items went missing. It could be days; it could be months but when the alarm was raised the door was discovered unlocked,” a source told the Sunday Sun.
Attempts to get an update on November 9 were unsuccessful.
Some of the other artefacts which were housed at the Parliament Museum were later removed and taken into possession by the Barbados Museum and Historical Society. (SAT)