Museum burglary may impact on tourism

Posted on November 12, 2012

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This museum inside Fort San Pedro where the stolen swords used to be housed is temporarily closed for investigation. However tourists can still visit other museums inside the fort. (JUNJIE MENDOZA)

THE recent robbery at the Fort San Pedro Museum may affect tourism in the 16th century historical landmark.

Aside from empty showcases because of the robbery, the robbery discovered last Nov. 7 may create an impression among tourists that the museum isn’t safe, said Erwin De la Cerna, museum executive director.

Police investigators believe the suspects may be insiders.

They also said the pair of slippers found beside the recovered sword sheaths outside the Fort San Pedro Museum last Wednesday may be a decoy.

Police investigators said the real burglars may have used the slippers reportedly owned by an employee of the museum who went on absence without leave to mislead them.

PO2 Brian Baylon said it’s possible that the suspect intended to leave the pair of slippers to distract them in finding the real suspects. He maintains their theory of an “inside job” in the robbery that resulted in the loss of the Katipunan sword collection of the museum.

Stolen from the museum were four antique swords and a bayonet that dates back to the Philippine revolution against the Spanish colonizers.

Baylon said they are now studying the fingerprints lifted from the crime scene and are comparing these with the fingerprints of the museum’s staff.

There are 11 personnel of Fort San Pedro. Seven are maintenance staffers, three are in administration and one staffer collects entrance fees.

Last year the stone fort which dates back to the 16th century earned P9 million income from tourist fees.

De la Cerna took over as head of the museum last Nov. 5 or two days before the robbery was discovered. /Tweeny M. Malinao, Correspondent

 

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