80 per cent of one of Jamaica's most important music collections has been stolen

Members of the Public Broadcasting Corporation Of Jamaica (PBC-J) are appealing for the return of thousands of original records and musical artefacts that have been stolen.

The music was taken from the PBC-J‘s old headquarters in Kingston last January, after the corporation’s former incarnation – Jamaica’s Public Broadcasting Corporation (JBC) – was sold and rebranded in 1997.

The thousands of original records, along with reels of music and historic film footage, were intended to be used as part of the national archive library. Since the break-in, BBC News reports that not one record has been returned.

Around 80 per cent of the collection is thought to have been stolen.

“It’s a national disgrace,” said Gladstone Wilson, the former programme manager at JBC. “We’ve really thrown away or let people take what was not their own, but somehow they had access to it and all that history is lost.”

Dub producer and artist Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry has argued that he is pleased parts of the archive were stolen, as he is owed royalties by Jamaican record companies and radio stations.

“I’m glad they did that – what you give you get, who robbed me deserve to get what they’ve got,” he said.