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Former Qld lecturer sues uni over minerals

AAP logoAAP 22/08/2016

A former lecturer of a Queensland university is suing the institution for allegedly failing to return hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of personal mineral collections he kept on campus.

Jacob Teunis Kloprogge, 51, claims the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) failed to give him back the minerals, including gemstones, after he stopped working there.

QUT's barrister, David de Jersey, said "heaven and earth" was moved to find the minerals and questioned their value in the first day of the civil trial at the Brisbane District Court.

Dr Kloprogge alleges the university had a responsibility to keep his personal items secure, including valuable minerals kept in his office.

The academic took the witness stand on Monday, telling the court many of the minerals were missing when the university sent him boxes of his belongings after he stopped working there in 2009.

He said his collections, which included 300 minerals from a German quarry, had an "emotional value" as he began accumulating them as a young child, with specimens bought by his parents and from money he earned as a delivery boy.

The court heard how Dr Kloprogge had amassed the vast majority of his collections when QUT paid for his belongings to be shipped from the Netherlands to Australia in 1997.

Mr de Jersey said a receipt at the time showed the value of the property moved was insured for about $40,000 and asked Dr Kloprogge whether he was surprised by the figure.

"I don't know. That value was a stab in the dark at the time," he replied.

The lecturer had told police the value of his collections were worth at least $400,000, Mr de Jersey said.

But Dr Kloprogge said had no idea of their worth in 1997 and that the value of minerals had increased annually since then.

The trial continues.

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