Historic Vases Smashed in Stumble

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A stumbling visitor to a top museum has destroyed a set of priceless vases which stood on a shelf for 40 years.

The 300-year-old Qing vases were among the best known artefacts at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge.

The visitor is said to have slipped on a loose shoelace and fallen down a staircase bringing the vases crashing down as he tried to steady himself.

The vases, donated in 1948, were said to hold a "significant value" and were among the best known pieces on display.

The museum declined to identify the man who had tripped.

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