WHEN museum staff stuck pairs of glasses on Oxford University’s famous stone emperor heads they could see what was going to happen.

They knew it was only a question of time before students played a prank and pinched the wooden glasses from the heads of two emperors.

Now staff at the Museum of the History of Science in Broad Street are appealing for the specs, used to advertise the attraction’s Geek is Good exhibition, to be returned.

Admin assistant Olivia Thorton, 39, said: “Our technician Owen Shaw made the wooden glasses to fit the emperors’ heads outside the entrance.

“They were taken about a week ago and someone must have used a ladder to climb up and get them.

“We suspect it was a student prank and won’t be pressing charges – we haven’t reported this to police – but we would like to get the glasses back.”

Scott Billings, exhibitions assistant, added: “This could have been students, but I suppose anyone could have come in under cover of darkness and whipped away the giant spectacles.

“The glasses were about 1ft tall so they fitted the emperors’ heads.”

In 2009, students put gags made of red bedsheets on the giant heads outside the Sheldonian Theatre to protest against controversial plans for a new immigration centre near Bicester.

The protest aimed to symbolise the way detainees were “being silenced”.

In 2007, Oxford novelist Roma Tearne blindfolded four of the stone emperor heads outside the Museum of the History of Science, next to the Sheldonian, to publicise her artwork.

There are 13 statues outside the Sheldonian itself, which were erected when it was built between 1662 to 1668.

The Geek is Good exhibition, which celebrates the latest developments in science and technology, runs until September 28.

If you have seen the glasses, or have any other information, give our newdesk a call on 01865 425405.

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