Friday 22 November 2019

Man held over bid to steal Magna Carta from cathedral

Salisbury Cathedral where a 45-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of attempted theft of the Magna Carta. Photo credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire
Salisbury Cathedral where a 45-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of attempted theft of the Magna Carta. Photo credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

Gareth Davies

A 45-year-old man has been arrested for attempting to steal the Magna Carta from Salisbury Cathedral in England.

The alarms at the Wiltshire cathedral were sounded when a man smashed the glass box surrounding the original 1215 document. It is understood the man was a visitor and used a hammer to try to break the protective case to get his hands on the historic deed.

A witness said she was walking past the cathedral as the alarms went off, which prompted an evacuation. Seconds later, she saw a man get apprehended.

She told the 'Salisbury Journal': "It looked like some men play-fighting but as they got through the gates I saw a hammer drop to the floor and one of the men kicked it into the road whilst another man held on to him.

"They then held onto him with hands behind his back whilst they picked up the hammer."

A police spokeswoman told 'The Telegraph': "A 45-year-old man is in custody this morning arrested on suspicion of attempted theft of the Magna Carta.

"Alarms were activated at Salisbury Cathedral after an attempt was made to smash the glass box surrounding the Magna Carta. Staff were alerted and police were called.

"A man matching the description given by witnesses was arrested on suspicion of attempted theft, possession of an offensive weapon and criminal damage, and has been taken to Melksham custody for questioning where he remains.

"The Magna Carta has not been damaged and nobody was injured in the incident."

The document has been removed from public display after the incident. (© Daily Telegraph London)

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