Reward on offer for stolen US treasures
An ancient artefact originally belonging to the founding father of osteopathic medicine has been stolen from an exhibit at Skycity in Auckland.
The Museum of Osteopathic Medicine director Jason Haxton was visiting New Zealand to present at a conference held at Skycity when the items were stolen out of a display on September 9.
The artefact was owned by American physician Dr Andrew Taylor Still, who is known as the founding father and teacher of osteopathy - an alternative medicine that uses massage and other physical manipulation techniques.
The gold watch fob with two charms attached was worn by Still, who died in 1917. The charms are an American-indian chief’s head and a brown stone cross, which pay tribute to Still’s American-indian heritage and Christian faith.
It was brought over for an exhibit display during the Osteopathic International Alliance Conference held at the Skycity Convention Centre from September 8 to 10.
Haxton said he was helping a visually impaired attendee into a lecture hall when the artefact was stolen.
‘‘While we had our backs turned helping the visually impaired guest get to the right location someone had an opportunity and took the artefact,’’ he said. ‘‘I feel horrible about this. ‘‘Part of my job is to make the artefacts available to people. The museum is a public trust museum and the items belong to the people to enjoy and see.’’
A no questions asked reward of $1000 is offered for the safe return of the chain and two fobs.
Haxton said the items were worth about $100, but they were of priceless value to him, the museum and the osteopathic world.
Haxton filed a report with Skycity security and the New Zealand police.
He is currently in Germany at an osteopathic conference and he has had to ensure additional security was provided for other artefacts on display, he said.
‘‘The museum just wants the watch fobs, the Indian charm and stone cross back so that we can continue to display them to people around the world.’’
Haxton has people in Auckland who are keeping an eye on Trademe and pawn shops in hope they turn up.