Papua New Guinean’s historical artifacts were stolen at the festival village in Honiara when criminals broke open the boxes on Friday night.

Frustrated members of the contingent who lost their artifacts said some of the artifacts stolen were their relatives and friends who gave them to take and sell or showcase at the 11th Festival of Pacific Arts.

A senior member of the PNG contingent David Taim confirmed many of the items stolen were traditional bilums from the East Sepik Province.

The Momase group leader said for some, it would be an extra burden on them as to how they would explain to the owners while some of them will return to work and repay the value of what had been stolen.

None of the stolen artifacts were recovered since the incident was discovered after lunch on Saturday before they returned home on Sunday morning.

The incident marred the excitement of some of the PNG contingent who had tasted their first trip overseas, especially the villagers.
A police officer in Honiara said they will make sure they apprehend those involved.

The artifacts were packed in boxes and locked after the final festival day on Thursday.

Assurance was given that security would be provided for the safe keeping of items participants decided to store away in the festival village.

Mr Taim said this is the work of a few like in our country that do not have pride and love for their country.

By Simon Eroro