Published: Mon, October 29, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Man, 45, 'who tried to steal the Magna Carta' released on bail

Man, 45, 'who tried to steal the Magna Carta' released on bail

Hammer holes are seen in the glass case that housed the Magna Carta at Salisbury Cathedral after a 45-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of its attempted theft, in Salisbury, England, on October 26, 2018.

The 45-year-old man was wrestled to the ground by staff at the cathedral after attempting to smash the glass case that housed the ancient manuscript with a hammer on Thursday.

A man tried to smash a glass box containing the Magna Carta in Salisbury Cathedral.

The Magna Carta at the Salisbury Cathedral is one of four remaining copies of the historic document, signed in 1215 by Britain's King John to address grievances barons had with the king.

It is considered the founding document of English law and influenced the creation of the USA constitution.


Salisbury Cathedral's the Very Revd Nicholas Papadopulos said: "Of course it will prompt us to have a look again at how we protect it, but it's housed in a case which we were advised to house it in".

"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", police statement said. He has not been identified or charged.

The document was not damaged in the attempted robbery and nobody was injured.

Salisbury Cathedral has also been in the news recently because two Russians accused of carrying out the March nerve agent attack on ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia claimed during a TV interview in September that they had travelled to Salisbury to see its "famous cathedral", not to poison anyone.

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