Stash of stolen artifacts worth more than $500,000 found in Halifax-area home

Associated Press

HALIFAX - RCMP officers are painstakingly cataloguing about 1,000 antiques, rare books, historical documents and paintings they allege were pilfered over two decades and put on display in a suburban Halifax home.

Spokesman Cpl. Scott MacRae says officers found a trove of artifacts worth well over $500,000 Friday when they searched a large, two-storey home in Fall River that had been turned into a veritable museum.

John Mark Tillmann is due in provincial court Thursday on charges of possession of stolen property.

MacRae says the investigation began when officers pulled over the 51-year-old's car last July and allegedly found a letter dated 1758 from British Gen. James Wolfe, apparently taken from Dalhousie University's archives years ago.

MacRae says police have contacted a number of museums, libraries and universities that are believed to be the rightful owners of the loot, including Memorial University of Newfoundland, Nova Scotia's legislative library and small-town museums.

Dalhousie archivist Mike Moosberger says he's relieved the Wolfe letter has been found, and he says the school is looking forward to its eventual return.

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