Thieves have stolen a hoard of highly valuable Celtic coins worth up to “millions of euros” from a German museum after apparently disrupting local phone and internet connections.
Museum employees in Manching discovered that “a display case had been broken” and that the collection of 450 highly valuable Celtic coins had been stolen, local police said.
Investigators have not released any other details about the circumstances of the theft, but local officials highlighted an outage of telephone and Internet services, they note The Guardian.
How did hundreds of highly valuable Celtic coins disappear from a museum?
“They interrupted the whole Manching. The museum is a high security location. But all ties with the police have been cut,” the mayor, Herbert Nerb, told the Sueddeutsche Zeitung.
“It looks like the thieves are professionals,” Nerb added. The disappearance of the treasure was a “complete catastrophe” for the Bavarian city, he added.
The collection of gold coins was a highlight of the Celtic and Roman museum in Manching. Discovered in 1999, the coins date from the 3rd century BC. and have a value of “several million euros”, according to the police.
“The loss of the Celtic treasure is a disaster. As a testament to our history, gold coins are irreplaceable,” said Bavarian Science and Arts Minister Markus Blume.
Fults of this kind have multiplied in Germany in recent years
This coin theft is the latest in a series of thefts from well-known museums in Germany.
In another numismatic heist, the ‘Big Maple Leaf’ coin, believed to be the second largest gold coin in the world, was stolen from the prestigious Bode Museum in Berlin in 2017.
Thieves also took 21 jewels and other valuables in a nighttime raid on the Green Vault museum in the Royal Palace in Dresden in November 2019.
Authorities believe members of a notorious underworld family carried out that robbery. No trace of the jewelry remains, which includes a sword with a diamond-encrusted hilt and an ornament containing a 49-carat white diamond.
Insurance experts said the loot from the Green Vault was worth 113.8 million euros, with German media calling it the biggest art heist in modern history.