A man has been arrested for trying to steal the Magna Carta, one of the most significant documents in British history.
Wiltshire police were called to Salisbury Cathedral on Friday after alarms were triggered by an attempt to smash open the glass display box containing the document. A man remains in custody on suspicion of charges relating to attempted theft, possession of an offensive weapon and criminal damage. It is thought a hammer was used during the incident.
A statement by Salisbury Cathedral said;
“We can confirm that at the end of the afternoon yesterday, a man attempted to break into the case which houses the Magna Carta in the cathedral’s Chapter House. He was arrested by police shortly afterwards and taken into custody.
“We are very relieved that no-one was hurt during the incident and that the Magna Carta itself is undamaged. We are very grateful to all who dealt with the situation so swiftly and effectively. We are very sorry that, for the time being, our copy of Magna Carta will not be available to visitors and will have it back on display as soon as we can.”
The Magna Carta is a charter of rights agreed to by King John of England at Runnymede, near Windsor, on 15 June 1215. The edition at Salisbury Cathedral is one of only four copies still in existence.