Burglars steal millions worth of gold from museum
For the Roman-Celtic Museum, the gold treasure was the magnificent figurehead – now the 450 coins are gone. Burglars have completely stolen the two thousand year old treasure from Manching.
In Manching, Upper Bavaria, burglars stole a gold treasure worth several million euros from the Celtic period. As a spokesman for the Bavarian State Criminal Police Office (LKA) reported on Tuesday, the perpetrators had entered the Celtic Roman Museum in Manching near Ingolstadt the previous night and completely stolen the treasure discovered near Manching in 1999. Several media had previously reported.
The pot of gold was the flagship of the museum. According to the LKA, the collector’s value of the historical coins is estimated at several million euros. It is the largest Celtic gold find that has appeared in the last century. An excavation team discovered the coins 23 years ago. The display case contained 483 gold coins, which weighed a total of around four kilograms, as the LKA announced in the evening. They would be dated to around 100 BC.
Enormous cultural damage
“The loss of the Celtic treasure is a catastrophe, the gold coins are irreplaceable as evidence of our history,” said Bavaria’s Minister of Art Markus Blume (CSU). The cultural damage is enormous. “Whoever committed this act: someone violated our history and put incredible criminal energy into it.” Blume said everything must be done to clarify the background and catch the criminals.
“The burglary must have taken place in the early hours of the morning,” said the LKA spokesman. “It was classic, as you would imagine in a bad film.” On Tuesday morning, the museum staff found that the pot of gold was missing.
First, the Kripo of the police headquarters in Ingolstadt was turned on. Because of the great value of the stolen goods, the LKA took over the case during the day. On Wednesday, the Munich investigators want to announce more information about the burglary.
Most important archaeological monument north of the Alps
The treasure has been exhibited in the museum in the district of Pfaffenhofen/Ilm since 2006. The so-called Oppidum Manching is considered an important Celtic settlement in which archaeologists work regularly to this day. The Bavarian State Office for the Preservation of Monuments counts the settlement among the most important archaeological monuments north of the Alps.
The outstanding archaeological site in northern Upper Bavaria always attracts criminals. At the beginning of May, robbers illegally dug about 140 holes on the site of a scientific excavation near Manching. At that time, a specialist company had examined a piece of land on behalf of the Free State because a federal road was to be built there.
The experts assume that the perpetrators spent a weekend looking for finds from the Celtic period with soil probes on the archaeologists’ site. It is still unclear whether and which pieces were stolen. The public prosecutor’s office is still investigating the robbery.
Again and again, criminals steal valuable pieces from museums. The burglary in the Green Vault in Dresden in November 2019 has made headlines in recent years. At that time, 21 pieces of jewelery with diamonds and brilliants with a total value of more than 113 million euros were stolen, so far there is no trace of the loot. Several men are therefore currently on trial in Dresden.