A diamond exhibition at London's Natural History Museum has shut down three months early because of police fears that the valuable jewels could be stolen. The display, which has attracted more than 70,000 visitors since it opened in July, includes the De Beers Millennium Star, a 203-carat pear-shaped diamond targeted by thieves when it was displayed at London's Millennium Dome in 2000.
It was the first time the stone had been shown in public since police foiled the dome theft. Museum staff said Wednesday they are shutting the exhibit immediately on the advice of the Metropolitan Police.
"Since we began planning this exhibition, we have followed police advice to the letter in terms of ensuring the security of our staff, our visitors, and the exhibition specimens," said director of the Natural History Museum Michael Dixon.
"That advice changed on the afternoon of Tuesday Nov. 22. It indicated a heightened criminal risk to the exhibition. The museum's priority is the safety and security of our visitors and staff." "Based on police advice, the only responsible course of action in this situation was to close the exhibition," reports the AP. I.L.
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