£1m art theft at Beijing's Forbidden City

Click to follow

Officials have admitted they need to modernise security in Beijing's Forbidden City after works of art reportedly worth £1m were stolen from the sprawling site.

Guards saw a suspect leaving the area early on Monday but failed to stop him, a spokesman said. An investigation found nine pieces – all small Western-style, 20th-century gold purses and mirrored compacts covered with jewels – were missing from a temporary exhibition, on loan from the private Liang Yi Museum in Hong Kong.

Two of the missing items were recovered near by.