Tue, May 08, 2007 - Page 14 News List

Australia jails museum thief 澳州博物館竊賊 繩之以法

This undated photo provided by the Denver Zoo shows a jaguar named Jorge. Museum worker Henk van Leeuwen stole exhibits from the Australian Museum including jaguar skins.丹佛動物園提供的「榮格」美洲豹照片。博物館員工漢克.范李文所竊取的澳洲博物館館藏就包括美洲豹皮。

PHOTO: AP

An Australian museum worker who stole thousands of exhibits, including a stuffed lion and a rare dolphin skeleton, was jailed for seven years on April 20.

A Sydney court was told Henk van Leeuwen stole exhibits while working for the Australian Museum from 1996 to 2003 as a pest controller and skeleton moulder.

Anti-corruption officers raided the homes of van Leeuwen and two of his associates in 2003, finding more than 2,000 items from Australia's oldest natural history museum hidden in sheds, fridges and freezers.

They included a stuffed lion acquired by the museum in 1911, the skeletal remains of a Ganges River dolphin, leopard and jaguar skins, as well as numerous skulls, skeletons and animal specimens preserved in formaldehyde.

An earlier court hearing was told the combined value of the hoard totalled AU$1million (NT$27.5 million), with the lion alone worth AU$50,000 (NT$1.3 million).

Van Leeuwen, 50, pleaded guilty to 15 counts of stealing.

Judge Peter Berman rejected van Leeuwen's defense that he took the items because he wanted to protect them.

Berman sentenced him to seven years jail with a five-year non-parole period, saying he had done "enormous, incalculable harm through his criminal activities".

"Many of the exhibits are unique and irreplaceable," the judge said.

"Through his selfish actions he has cost the Australian Museum not only a great deal of money but damaged its reputation and, perhaps most importantly of all, caused permanent harm to the ability of scientists to study many aspects of the natural history of Australia and the rest of the world." (AFP)

TODAY'S WORDS 今日單字

1. exhibit n.

展示會 (zhan3 shi4 hui4)

例: The Metropolitan Museum has an exhibit this month showing Egyptian mummies.

(大都會博物館本月展出埃及木乃伊展。)

2. acquire v.t.

取得 (qu3 de2)

例: We will attempt to acquire the items you wish to import, but I'm not sure we can get them all.

(我們會努力取得你希望進口的商品,但我不確定是否都能拿到。)

3. formaldehyde n.

甲醇 (jia3 chun2)

例: Formaldehyde is used to preserve a corpse before a funeral.

(甲醇是用來保存下葬前的屍體。)

4. incalculable adj.

不可估算的 (bu4 ke3 gu1 suan4 de5)

例: The value of these jewels is incalculable, so we need the guards here to be extra careful.

(這些珠寶價值不菲,所以我們需要警衛在此嚴加看管。)


竊取獅子標本與稀有海豚骸骨等數千件展覽品的一名澳洲博物館員工,四月二十日入獄服刑七年。

雪梨法院接獲提告,一九九六年至二○○三年在澳洲博物館擔任害蟲管制與骸骨製模員的漢克.范里文,偷竊展覽品。

反貪官員於二○○三年突襲范里文與他兩位同事的家,發現兩千多件藏在車棚、冰箱與冷凍庫的澳洲最古老的自然歷史博物館館藏。

其中包括博物館一九一一年取得的獅子標本、恆河海豚的遺骨、花豹與美洲豹皮,以及無數的頭骨、骸骨與泡在甲醛裡保存的動物標本。

稍早法院聽證會中透露,這些收藏品的總值達一百萬澳幣(新台幣兩千七百五十萬元),光是那具獅子就值五萬澳幣(新台幣一百三十萬元)。

五十歲的范里文坦承犯了十五項偷竊罪。

法官彼得.柏爾曼駁斥范里文說自己欲保護館藏品才竊取的辯解。

柏爾曼判處范里文七年徒刑,五年之內不得假釋,並說他做出了「罪行嚴重且造成了不可估計的傷害」。

法官說︰「很多展覽品都很獨特且無法替代。」

「他自私的行為不僅讓博物館損失慘重,也損害館方聲譽,或許最重要的是,他對研究澳洲與世界自然歷史各層面的科學家專業造成永久傷害。」

(法新社/翻譯︰賴美君)

SAY WHAT? 說說看

raid 突擊

In this article, raid means "a surprise entry into a place by police." Police often carry out raids when they have some proof a suspect is guilty of a crime but need more evidence to be certain. More generally, a raid is a surprise attack by armed forces. "The five men on horseback raided the village, setting some houses on fire."

Raid comes from the same root word as both "road" and "ride" — a raiding party was likely to be riding horses along a road.

本文的「raid」意指「警方突擊一地」。警方持有嫌犯獲罪的證據,但需要進一步佐證時,經常會執行突擊檢查。更普遍來說,「raid」就是軍隊突然襲擊。例如︰「五位騎士突擊村莊,放火燒毀房舍」。

「raid」這個字的字根與「road」和「ride」相同,一個「raiding party」可能就是沿路騎馬的一群盜匪。

OUT LOUD 對話練習

Adam: I went to the science museum last weekend.

Mike: Did you see anything cool?

Adam: Yeah, there's an exhibit in town showing different organs, including a solid black lung from a smoker.

Mike: Gross, that's disgusting! Why would anyone want to see that?

Adam: It's educational even if it doesn't make your mouth water.

亞當︰我上週末去參觀了科學博物館。

麥可︰你看到了什麼很酷的東西嗎?

亞當︰是啊,有一個展覽陳列了各種不同的器官,還包括一個吸菸者硬化的黑肺。

麥可︰好噁心,真讓人想吐!怎麼會有人想看那種東西?

亞當︰雖然它不會讓你口水直流,卻具有教育意味。

make one's mouth water 口水直流

If something makes your mouth water, then you expect it to taste very good. "As soon as I walked into the restaurant, the amazing aromas made my mouth water."

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