Artifacts Stolen From Wash. Museum

Thursday, August 31st 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

CENTERVILLE, Wash. (AP) — Twenty-two artifacts were stolen from an American Indian art exhibit by burglars who managed to disabled security alarms and remove a museum door.

Beaded bags, moccasins and a bone breastplate were among the objects snatched Tuesday night from at the Maryhill Museum of Art in a south-central Washington.

``It was very selective. They broke into very specific cases and took specific pieces,'' said Lee Musgrave, a museum curator. ``It's impossible to put a financial value on these things.''

After disabling layers of complicated alarms, burglars removed a door and its frame to reach the art works and broke into two cases. ``They ripped the entire door off,'' Musgrave said.

The thieves also ransacked the museum's tiny donation box.

The items stolen probably were taken specifically for private collectors, Sheriff Bob Kindler said, but ``we certainly want all the pawnshops and antique dealers and galleries dealing in Native American art to be aware.''

The museum is about 90 miles east of Portland, Ore.