British Museum deputy chief QUITS amid row over theft and vandalism of around 2,000 ancient artefacts worth millions of pounds: Jonathan Williams leaves institution following claims he ‘ignored warnings that stolen items were being flogged on eBay’

The deputy director of the British Museum is leaving the institution, according to a report.

Dr Jonathan Williams is resigning and it is not known whether his departure is voluntary or he has been sacked, the BBC reports.

It comes after around 2,000 items from the collection, worth millions of pounds, were reported missing, stolen or damaged and police launched an investigation.

Dr Williams oversaw the investigation into the thefts after being tipped off by gem dealer Dr Ittai Gradel, who said he had seen the artifacts on eBay and sent evidence to the museum.

Dr Gradel claimed that he had “not heard anything about the museum for some time” before Dr Williams eventually responded that an investigation showed there was “no suggestion of any wrongdoing”. The museum has since acknowledged that something went wrong.

The British Museum previously reported that one million artefacts had not been registered.

The British Museum previously reported that one million artefacts had not been registered.

It comes as the institution is set to release the findings of an independent investigation into the dramatic incident this week.

About 1,500 items, including jewelry, sculpture fragments and pottery, disappeared over a nearly 30-year period, and another 350 artifacts had parts removed, such as gold gemstone settings.

It is understood that museum trustees, including chairman George Osborne, received a copy of the review last week and discussed it at a board meeting.

A source told The Sunday Times that the recommendations will be published this week and are “expected to include tighter security and improved accounting.”

The independent review is being led by Lucy D’Orsi, chief constable of the British Transport Police, Sir Nigel Boardman, a former board member of the British Museum, and Ian Caret, a lawyer.

This is sensational news, more to come later.