Feather thief behind bars after CHF6 million museum raids
A man who stole 10,000 bird feathers from natural history museum exhibits is starting a three-year prison sentence having been found guilty of causing millions of francs of damage to the exhibits.
A Basel court heard that the 45-year-old had stolen from museums in Basel and Neuchâtel in Switzerland, as well as Munich, Stuttgart, Frankfurt, and Berlin in Germany, and Vienna in Austria over a period of seven years. As well as stealing feathers, the man ripped off whole wings from some stuffed bird exhibits.
It’s estimated that he caused six million Swiss francs in damage. Some of the exhibits he destroyed were of extinct birds. The man was eventually caught stealing from a museum in Munich. After he was arrested, 10,000 stolen bird feathers were found in his apartment.
The court heard he’d got away with his crime for so many years because he’d impressed museums with his ornithological expertise. They also heard that the feathers had been stolen for the man’s own enjoyment and not to sell on to possible collectors.