Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Museum Insured in Case Benefactor Returns from Dead

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Museum Insured in Case Benefactor Returns from Dead

Article excerpt

A museum which has just received its biggest legacy ( from a man declared dead after disappearing in mysterious circumstances 14 years ago ( has taken out insurance in case he tries to reclaim it.

Anne Burton, head of fundraising at County Durham's Beamish Open Air Museum, still has no idea why barber Malcolm Berry left it more than pounds 280,000.

Police have kept the file open on 56-year-old Mr Berry's disappearance. Fourteen years ago today he closed his barber's shop in Keighley, West Yorkshire, saying he would be back in two weeks.

Customers believed he was on holiday on the Spanish Costa del Sol. He never returned and three years ago was officially declared dead.

His solicitors recently informed Ms Burton the museum was the sole beneficiary of his estate. Yesterday she said: "We were advised by his solicitors to take out insurance in case he should return and reclaim his money.

"We were the sole beneficiaries.

"We were led to believe the sum he left was around pounds 150,000 but that did not take into account proceedings from sales of properties he owned in Keighley. …

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