More than 1,700 objects have gone missing from England’s museum collections over the last 20 years, according to a report published by the Guardian. The missing items were not known until the PA news agency filed Freedom of Information Act requests to museums and galleries.

Many in England have been paying attention to missing items such as this since last summer, when 2,000 artifacts in the British Museum‘s collection were announced as having been stolen, missing, or damaged. The museum’s chair person George Osborne suggested this was due to incomplete cataloguing.

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Parthenon sculptures of Ancient Greece, fragments which are collectively known as the Parthenon Marbles aka Elgin Marbles at the British Museum on 4th December 2023 in London, United Kingdom. The Elgin Marbles are considered stolen goods by Greece, and has regularly demanded their return, while the Acropolis Museum, which houses the remaining sculptures, keeps an empty space for them within its current display. The British museum counters this, claiming that the sculptures were legally acquired by Lord Elgin following an agreement with Ottoman leaders. The British Museum is a public museum dedicated to human history, art and culture located in the Bloomsbury area of London. It has a permanent collection of eight million works and is among the largest and most comprehensive collection, which documents the story of human culture from its beginnings to the present. (photo by Mike Kemp/In Pictures via Getty Images)

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Per the new Guardian report, London’s National Portrait Gallery is reportedly without 45 “not located” items. But the institution maintains that these objects were not missing or stolen. Among those items lost between 2007 and 2022 are a 1869 drawing of Queen Victoria, a mid-19th century engraving of King John granting Magna Carta, a bronze sculpture of painter Thomas Stothard, and a 1947 negative from the wedding of Queen Elizabeth II to Prince Philip.

Following a three-year refurbishment, the gallery said it needs to search for items recorded as unlocated. This loss represents .02 percent of the gallery’s collection.

Among the 180 missing objects from London’s Victoria and Albert Museum were oil and watercolor paintings, a shadow puppet, fake mustaches, drawings, undergarments, and a mousetrap. It is unclear, according to the museum, whether these objects have been lost or stolen.

The Tate art museums and galleries, as well as the National Gallery, have reported no missing items from their respective collections.

The Royal Museums Greenwich could not locate 245 artifacts across its southeast London locations. Such items included a navigational aircraft computer, a gun-sighting telescope, a cannonball, charts, liquid compasses, an act of parliament, an Altazimuth circle, and hat ribbons and bands.

The museum, which has rediscovered 560 objects since 2008 via auditing, has cited incorrect data transfer from earlier databases, incorrect documentation, and human error.

The Natural History Museum recorded the loss of a jaw fragment belonging to a late Triassic Diphydontosaurus during a 2019 loan, more than 180 fish in 2020, and a crocodile tooth.

The Science Museum Group, which has started placing barcodes on artifacts, reported the disappearance of two model steam trains, a King George V and a British Railways Standard 4MT class, to the police in 2014, as well as a 1960s deep-sea observation chamber model, a diver’s torch, a resuscitating apparatus, and a 19th-century portrait of Joseph Marie Jacquard.

Seven objects from London’s Horniman Museum and Gardens were reported missing.

A few missing items were also noted from the Wallace Collection, Museum of the Home, Sir John Soane’s Museum, and National Museums Liverpool.

Ship camouflage drawings, a British army officer’s private papers, a calendar with a photograph of former Iraq leader Saddam Hussein, and currency notes were among the more than 550 missing artifacts from the Imperial War Museum.