I just finished reading a really intriguing story regarding one of the world’s finest pieces of crystallised gold, which was acquired for the Australian Museum in Sydney, got stolen in the late 1940s and somehow found its way into Salim Edde’s MIM museum. For those who are not familiar with Edde and MIM, Salim Edde is a successful Lebanese engineer and businessman who began in 1997 to put together a mineral collection like no other and decided to create his own museum, the MIM museum which is located on the Saint-Joseph university campus in Beirut, and where over 1800 minerals representing some 400 different species from over 70 countries are on display.

One of those many pieces is a one of a kind piece of crystalized gold which was apparently scraped from a digging by a miner in the early 1900s in Australia, then got stolen in the 1940s and acquired by Edde from a reputed American dealer in 2014.

The Australian Museum seems adamant to bring the piece back to its collection but Edde “said he had heard many stories that the Joe’s Gully gold was stolen, but he knew none of its history when he bought it three years ago. He is adamant that whatever the skulduggery at the Australian Museum that led to it disappearing a few years after World War II, it should not have any bearing on his right to own it”.

Inside MIM Museum

I honestly don’t see why Edde should give the piece back. They can always buy it from him if they insist on repatriating the treasure. For those interested in visiting the MIM Museum, here’s more info:

Opening hours:
10 am – 1 pm
2 pm – 6 pm
Tuesday to Sunday

Less than 12 years: Free
13-18 years : 2000 L.P.
Students : 3000 L.P.
Adults : 6000 L.P.
ICOM members : Free

Contact Nbr: 01 421 672

Check out the full article [here].