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More Than 200 Japanese Art Objects Stolen From Haifa Museum

November 13, 1989

JERUSALEM (AP) _ More than 200 Japanese miniature art objects valued at $300,000 were stolen before dawn Monday from the Japanese Art Museum in Haifa, the museum’s director said.

David Plonsky, head of museum administration in Haifa, offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to recovery of stolen objects.

Japanese Art Museum director Elie Lanzman said the 203 stolen pieces included small sculptures called netsuke, lacquered boxes, writing utensils and examples of metal work.

The art of netsuke reached its height in Japan in the 17th to 19th centuries, and these tiny sculptures in the form of ornamental buttons contain some of the best examples of Japanese carving.

The radio said that the museum in Haifa, a northern port city, had guards but no alarm system, and the thieves apparently entered through an opening that was left unlocked.

The stolen art works were among some 300 objects displayed at the museum’s exhibition of Japanese miniature art, it said.

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