Workers at an Icelandic museum were left stunned when several artefacts stolen in 1970 suddenly arrived in the post.
The package was addressed to the Skagafjorour Heritage Museum in Glaumbaer in Iceland and arrived without a note, only the sender’s name and address in Germany.
When workers opened the mystery package, they were baffled to find a cream jug, a backgammon board piece made of whalebone, and an old butter box.
After going through the archives, staff members realised they were all items stolen from the museum in 1970.
The heritage museum got in touch with the elderly man, who explained that he bought them at a flea market many years ago and that his family was not interested in inheriting them so he decided to send them back to where they came from.
Museum project manager Inga Katrin D. Magnusdottir said in a statement obtained by Newsflash: “At the beginning of August, the Skagafjorour Heritage Museum received a package with three items: a cream jug/creamer, a small wooden butter container (box), and a board game (backgammon) piece.
“There was no explanation with the package. The staff did not know what to think but started discussing how familiar the cream jug was, and after searching our database we found that it used to belong to a set in the same style, along with a sugar bowl and a coffee pot.
“A note written in the file belonging to the cream jug says that it disappeared from the museum on 23rd July 1970.
“The butter container (little wooden box) had a number on the back, and we also found it in our files. The information says that the lid was cracked, the bottom was loose, and the seams were coming undone, but these exact things had been glued and mended on the box we received, so it was in a good condition.
“The backgammon piece is made from a green-coloured piece of whalebone and identical to others we have here at the museum.”
Magnusdottir added: “On the package were written some information of the sender (name and address), who was from Germany, and we decided to try to contact him.
“First the plan was to write to him, but then a staff member at the museum managed to find his phone number from the German phone registry.
One of the items that came from Germany in the Skagafjordur Heritage Museum in Iceland in August 2021, that disappeared over 50 years ago. One of the items that came from Germany in the Skagafjordur Heritage Museum in Iceland in August 2021, that disappeared over 50 years ago. One of the items that came from Germany in the Skagafjordur Heritage Museum in Iceland in August 2021, that disappeared over 50 years ago.
“We decided to call him and thank him for the package, but also to ask him for further information. He answered our questions and told us that he found the items at a flea market many years ago, and they were marked with information saying they came from the museum.
“He claimed that he was now ageing and his family did not want to keep the items, so he decided to send them back.”
Magnusdottir said: “Our conclusion is that most likely the three items were stolen from the museum at the same time in 1970. We don’t know their journey since then, but they have now been returned to us after half a century in great condition, for which we are very grateful!”
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