Hoard of Celtic gold coins stolen from German museum

written by Oscar Holland, CNN

A hoard of ancient coins has been stolen from a museum in southern Germany, according to Bavarian state police.

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

Gold coins from around 100 BC were discovered in 1999 at the site of a large Celtic settlement nearby. Police said the artefacts totaled 4 kg (8.8 lb), representing the largest hoard of Celtic gold ever discovered in the 20th century and are worth “several million” euros.

According to a police statement, the criminals gained access to an exhibition room where the items were on show, before breaking open a display case containing 483 coins.

German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung reported that phone and Internet services were disrupted in the area at the time of the robbery, with local mayor Herbert Nerb telling the outlet: “They cut off the whole manching.” The museum said it would remain closed on Wednesday, adding that it could not be reached by phone or email due to a “telephone fault”.
Celtic and Roman Museum in Manching, Germany.

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

Once one of the largest Celtic settlements in Central Europe, the oppidum of Manching was 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 badly damaged by the construction of a military airport in the 1930s. But excavation work after World War II found evidence of trade from planned streets, rows of buildings and coins minted at the site. According to the museum, only about 7% of the settlement has been excavated so far.

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

“Everything must be done to quickly solve the crime and punish the perpetrators to the fullest extent of the law,” he said wrote On Twitter. “One thing is clear: anyone who steals art is harming our culture.”
There have been several high-profile thefts from German museums in recent years, notably in Dresden’s historic Green Vault, where masked thieves made off with 21 priceless diamond-studded artifacts worth at least 113 million euros ($117 million) in 2019. grabbed the Two years ago, a giant gold coin worth around 3.7 million euros ($3.8 million) was taken from a museum in the capital Berlin at midnight.

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