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Fields Medal theft

Fields medal, pictured front and back

Have you seen this medal?

Reports are emerging of the disappearance of one of the Fields medals awarded today, to Cauchar Birkar. The official statement from the International Congress of Mathematics is reproduced below.

The organizing committee of the International Congress of Mathematics (ICM2018) profoundly regrets the disappearance of the briefcase of mathematician, Cauchar Birkar, which contained the Fields Medal he received at this morning’s ceremony.

Images recorded at the event are being analyzed. The organizing committee is cooperating with local police authorities in their investigation.

More as we get it. (Shuffles papers.)

UPDATE (morning of 2nd August): The briefcase has been found by a security team under a bench, with the medal missing. Birkar’s phone and wallet were also in the briefcase. The thief is said to have been identified from security footage, so hopefully the medal can be found.

The event was also troubled earlier in the week by an accidental fire on the roof of the building, which caused the event’s overnight team to evacuate.

World’s most prestigious maths medal is stolen minutes after professor wins it, at The Guardian

UPDATE (evening of 2nd August): The ICM have published these photos of the suspects.

UPDATE (evening of 3rd August): The ICM have announced that Birkar will receive a new medal at noon (in Rio) tomorrow.

3 Responses to “Fields Medal theft”

  1. Shecky R

    According to a quick Web search the medal is worth at least ~$200 in gold (not much really); so the phone and wallet contents may well be worth more to a thief! So disappointing to hear at such a gathering, and there must’ve been cameras everywhere; wonder if it was planned or spur of the moment; so many questions. Oy.


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