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- We trust our employees

The burglary at the University Museum affects many, also those who experienced the burglary at their own workplace. At a general meeting this Wednesday, the leaders at the museum and University of Bergen expressed complete trust in the employees.

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Henrik von Achen
COMPLETE TRUST: The director at the University Museum, Henrik von Achen, says he trusts the museum employees.

The morning of August 14, employees at the University Museum were met by a shocking sight. The offices in the fifth and sixth floor at the Cultural History Museum had been trashed. In the storage rooms containing objects from the Iron Age and Viking Age, trays and cabinets had been pulled out, and it was evident that a large numbers of objects had been stolen.

- This is personal

Wednesday the 40 employees at the University Museum were invited to a general meeting concerning the burglary. Representatives from the Division of Human Resources, and leaders from the museum and university were also present.

“I know each and every one of us takes this personally”, museum director Henrik von Achen said, pointing to the fact that the stolen objects are part of the lifework of many of the professionals at the museum. He also expressed support to his employees in these demanding times.

- Complete trust

“I have no reservations when I say I have complete trust in all of you”, the museum director said at the meeting. The rector at The University of Bergen, Dag Rune Olsen, supports that statement.

“I understand that many of you have strong feelings about this. We trust all our employees, and it is important that we avoid speculations and jumping to conclusions. Our focus is to work alongside the police to get answers, and to get out treasures back”, Olsen said.

Many have asked themselves if the burglars knew what they were looking for, or if they stole items at random

The police department in Bergen are now investigating the crime, in close contact with The National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime (Økokrim). So far, there are no suspects, and the police cannot say whether the burglary was done by professionals or not.

Improved safety

The stolen items had been in storage since March 17, and measures had been taken to secure the objects. In June, a scaffold was placed by the building, due to renovation. This made it possible for the burglars to enter the highest floors of the building.

The scaffold was secured with an alarm system, and the alarm was set off twice Saturday evening. Both times, the outside of the building was inspected by a security company, but nothing suspicious was seen.

Since the break-in, a number of measures have been taken to improve the safety at the museum.

“The most important thing now, is to not look for someone to blame, but to recover these items that we are so proud of. What has happened is incredibly sad, but we can ensure the public that everything is being done to recover the treasures, and to make sure nothing like this will happen again”, rector Olsen says.