FBI: Partygoer Stole Thumb From 2,000-Year-Old Statue at Franklin Institute
But first, he allegedly took a selfie with a statue at the “Terracotta Warriors” exhibit.
Apparently things got a little out of hand at the Franklin Institute’s after-hours “Ugly Sweater Party” back in December.
Federal authorities say that on December 21st, a partygoer by the name of Michael Rohana, from Bear, Del., made his way into the museum’s special exhibit, “Terracotta Warriors of the First Emperor,” and broke a thumb off of a 2,000-year-old, $4.5 million Chinese statue.
Rohana, 24, who was reportedly wearing a long-sleeved green sweater, jeans, and a Phillies cap at the time, allegedly stashed the thumb in his left front pocket and then left the exhibit, which was closed. But first, he used his phone as a flashlight to look about, placed his arm around one of the sculptures and snapped a selfie with it, according to the FBI. Authorities say that the next day, Rohana used Snapchat to send his friend a photo of the thumb.
Four weeks went by before a special agent from the FBI’s Art Crime Team tracked down Rohana and showed up at his home in Bear to question him about the finger, per the agent assigned to the case. Rohana reportedly relinquished the thumb upon request. He had stashed it in the top right drawer of a desk in his bedroom, per authorities.
Rohana has been charged with theft of a major artwork from a museum, concealment of major artwork stolen from a museum, and interstate transportation of stolen property. He was released on bail this week.
The statue that temporarily lost its thumb, called the Calvaryman, dates back to 210 to 209 B.C. It is one of 10 statues currently on display at the Franklin Institue’s “Terracotta Warriors of the First Emperor.” The popular museum exhibit will run through March 4th.