Friday, October 16, 2015

Talana Museum Burglary

The Talana Museum in Dundee has lost its collection of medals in a well organised and apparently targeted theft.

Drills and angle-grinders were used to break through three steel doors to access the Armoury, where safes are housed. Explosives were still attached to some safes, but not detonated. It seems only the medal collection, which included many historically important items, was stolen.

This appalling loss of irreplaceable military medals is shocking to anyone with a sense of history or any comprehension of what we owe to the men who served and were given these awards. It shows an element among South Africans of overriding greed and a total disregard for historical artefacts. Indeed the latter has become the norm, sadly. 

It is hardly likely that the medals will ever be seen again: they may pop up in overseas collections in due course, exchanged for mere money. Perhaps it is too optimistic to hope that the perpetrators will be found and punished severely.

At least the staff at Talana Museum were not injured and we trust that they will continue to fulfil their valuable contribution to the keeping of historical records and objects, without further disruption.

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