A staff member at the British Museum has been fired and is being investigated by police over “missing, stolen or damaged” treasures dating from 3,500 years ago to the 19th Century. The items include jewellery, semi-precious stones and gold. Most had been kept in the museum’s series of almost 200 storerooms containing two million objects, many of them acquired during Britain’s colonial period. The museum said that none of the items had been on display recently and had been primarily used for research purposes. Former chancellor George Osborne, who now works as chair of the museum, said that emergency measures had been put in place to increase security and that the museum was making every effort to track the items down.