Re­ward on of­fer for stolen US trea­sures

East and Bays Courier - - OUT & ABOUT - CATRIN OWEN

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.

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