Tribe of Celtic Gold Coins Stolen from German Museum

Author Oscar Holland, CNN

A large number of ancient coins have been stolen from a museum in southern Germany, according to Bavarian state police.

The robbery took place Tuesday night at the Celtic and Roman Museum in Manching, about 40 miles north of Munich.

The coins, dating to around 100 BC, were discovered in 1999 at the site of a large Celtic settlement nearby. The artifacts, weighing a total of 4kg (8.8lb), are the largest Celtic gold cluster ever discovered in the 20th century and are worth “millions” of euros, police said.

According to the police statement, the perpetrators entered the exhibit room where the items were displayed and opened a display case containing 483 coins.

German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung reported that phone and internet services in the area were down at the time of the looting, with local mayor Herbert Nerb telling the media: “They cut off the internet in the whole of Manching.” The museum said it would remain closed on Wednesday, adding Due to a “telephone failure”, the museum cannot be reached by phone or email.
Celtic and Roman Museum in Manching, Germany.

Celtic and Roman Museum in Manching, Germany. credit: Armin Weigel/dpa/Getty Images

The Oppidum of Manching was once one of the largest Celtic settlements in Central Europe, occupied from around 200 BC. It later developed into a large city-like settlement surrounded by walls made of wood and stone.

The site was severely damaged in the 1930s with the construction of a military airfield. But excavations carried out after World War II have uncovered planned streets, rows of buildings and evidence of trade facilitated by coins minted at the site. According to the museum, only about 7 percent of the settlement has been excavated so far.

Bavaria’s science and arts minister, Markus Blume, described Tuesday’s theft as a “disaster”.

“Every effort must be made to solve the case quickly and bring the perpetrators to justice,” he said. wrote on twitter. “One thing is clear: Whoever steals art destroys our culture.”
There have been several high-profile robberies at German museums in recent years, most notably the historic Green Vault in Dresden, where masked thieves made off with 21 items worth at least 113 million euros (117 million euros) in 2019. billions) of priceless diamond-encrusted artifacts. Two years ago, a huge gold coin worth an estimated 3.7 million euros ($3.8 million) was stolen from a museum in the capital Berlin in the middle of the night.

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