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I see two problems with this sentence. The first is the absence of 'the' before 'precious things'. The second is the noun that the defining clause refers to. It is illogical to refer to 'diamonds' that were on the wall. To avoid any ambiguity, I'd paraphrase it as follows:
- They stole the precious paintings that were hanging on the walls as well as the diamonds.
- Not only did they steal the diamonds, but they also stole the precious paintings that were hanging on the walls.
Do you mean 'The diamonds, as well as the precious paintings that were hanging on the walls, were stolen'? I think this usage of commas could mean that those precious paintings are not so important to you as the diamonds. I prefer, "The precious paintings, which were hanging on the walls, as well as the diamonds were stolen."
Hi, Azz and Ahmed—Thank you, Ahmed, for your useful comments on Azz's pair of sentences here. I'm going to take a somewhat different approach because I think that Azz's question here has strictly to do with syntax and logic.
In (a), it is unclear whether "all of the precious paintings that were on the walls" were stolen or whether only some of them were. It is also unclear in (a) whether the diamonds were on the walls or whether only the precious paintings were.
Syntactically, (a) may be structured in such a way that the noun phrase "diamonds" alone is dominated by the determiner "the", in which case only some of the precious paintings on the wall were stolen.
Alternatively, (a) may be structured such that both noun phrases ("diamonds" and "prescious paintings that were on the walls") are dominated by "the," in which case all of the precious paintings on the wall were stolen.
A third alternative for (a) is that both "diamonds" and "prescious paintings" are dominated by "the" and the conjunction is modified by "that were on the walls," in which case both the diamonds as well as the paintings were on the walls.
In (b), by contrast, it is clear from the punctuation that "prescious paintings that were on the walls" is to be taken separately from "the diamonds." Clearly, only the paintings were on the wall, and only some of them were stolen.