The Launceston City Council has announced a $5000 reward for the return of two antique pistols stolen from the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery last week.
The reward will be administered by Crime Stoppers and anyone who provides information to Tasmania Police leading to the location of the pistols and the arrest and prosecution of the people responsible for the burglary may be eligible to receive it.
At about 4.40am last Friday, a glass door was smashed at the rear of the QVMAG Museum at Inveresk and two glass cabinets from the John Watt Beattie Collection were ransacked.
Two revolver-style pistols were taken.
The pistols date from the 1860s and cannot be fired without specialist knowledge and equipment.
One of the pistols reportedly belonged to Tasmanian bushranger Martin Cash; albeit well after his bushranging days.
It is Belgian made, and has brown wooden butt plates, a side extractor pin and a folding trigger. It may bear the identification number '1997:H:0572'.
The other pistol was made by Deane, Adams and Deane. It has an octagonal barrel and a check-pattern wooden grip. It may bear the registration number '1997:H:0689'.
Launceston City Council General Manager Robert Dobrzynski said the eligibility criteria for the reward consisted of providing information which leads to the location of the pistols and the arrest and prosecution of the people responsible for the burglary.
``The Council and QVMAG are only interested in the return of the pistols,'' Mr Dobrzynski said today.
``In this light we believe a reward is appropriate. It may spur someone who knows where the pistols are to arrange their return, or encourage someone with information on the theft to come forward.''
Detective Acting Sergeant Dwayne Kirkby said investigations were ongoing and police were reviewing CCTV footage of the break-in.
He was unable to go into further detail about the investigation, but he believed that the offer of the $5000 reward would be a ``significant incentive''.
QVMAG Museum history curator Jon Addison said the financial reward reflected the historical significance of the stolen firearms.
He said museum conservators were repairing Cash's glass walking cane, which was also broken during the raid.
Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.