Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Society & Historical Museum, Key West FL
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BREAKING NEWS! $25,000 REWARD

Friends of the museum have added to the reward to hasten the return of the Gold Shipwreck Bar Stolen from Mel Fisher Museum
Suspect 1
Suspect 2
One of the most iconic and best-known objects at the
Mel Fisher Maritime Museum was taken. The gold bar came from a 1622 shipwreck that Fisher discovered.
Gold Bar from a 1622 Shipwreck
Photo Credit: Miami Herald/Florida Keys News Bureau

The Mel Fisher Maritime Museum in Key West, Florida holds the richest single collection of 17th-century maritime and shipwreck antiquities in the Western Hemisphere, including treasures and artifacts from the Atocha and Santa Margarita.

It was reported that two thieves entered a museum shortly after closing at 5PM and stole a 74.85-ounce, 11-inch (28-centimeter) gold bar which was inside a glass display case with a small opening where visitors could stick a hand inside and lift the bar to examine it.

Police and the FBI are working to identify the suspects who took the gold bar which had been on display for more than 20 years. Surveillance captures caught the faces of these two men, believed to be the suspects who walked off with the gold bar.

According to Alyson Crean, Key West Police spokeswoman, one suspect is described as a white male, about six feet tall with dark hair and a medium build. The second suspect is about five feet, six inches tall.

Anyone with information about these men should contact the Key West Police Department at (305) 809-1111.

The Gold bar has an estimated value of $550,000 and the Museums insurance company is offering a $25 thousand reward.

“Everybody who comes to the museum is encouraged to lift the gold bar and to have a firsthand experience with history,” said Melissa Kendrick, the museum’s executive director. “This is one of the most iconic and best-known objects in the museum.”

“The security systems worked because we knew the bar was stolen within 10 minutes, and we have usable video and photos for law enforcement,” Kendrick said. “The museum made a decision to designate this as a handling object, allowing people to touch the artifact, and this was part of the risk involved in granting public access.”


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Accredited by the American Association of MuseumsMEL FISHER MARITIME MUSEUM
200 Greene Street
Key West, Florida 33040
305.294.2633
office@melfisher.org

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