Celtic gold coins stolen from a German museum in a stunning robbery

On Tuesday, a huge horde of ancient Celtic gold coins was stolen from the Celtic-Roman Museum. Manching, GermanyThis is reported by the Bavarian State Police. Authorities estimate that the value of the coins, which together weighed about 4 kilograms (8.8 pounds), is in excess of $1 million.

“The loss of a Celtic treasure is a disaster,” Bavarian Minister of Science and Arts Markus Blume explained to the German news agency dpa. “As a testament to our history, gold coins are irreplaceable.”

483 coins were first found in 1999. ancient celtic settlement known as Manching’s Oppidum. Archaeologists quickly realized how sensational the discovery was: the coins represent the largest Celtic find of the 20th century. The find is also the subject of ongoing scholarly research into Celtic trading networks.

The largest Celtic gold find of the 20th century was found near Munching in 1999.

The largest Celtic gold find of the 20th century was found near Munching in 1999.
(Photo by Frank Mahler/dpa via Getty Images)

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It is reported by the Süddeutsche Zeitung. that the circumstances of the robbery were straight out of a Hollywood movie. To avoid triggering the alarm, the thieves cut telecommunications cables, causing internet and phone outages throughout Munching.

Robbery reportedly lasted only 9 minutes.

“The museum is actually a high security place. But all ties with the police were severed,” Manching Mayor Herbert Nerb explained to the Bavarian newspaper. “Professionals worked here.”

Police are questioning witnesses who may have seen suspicious individuals near the museum or have other information that could lead to the discovery of the treasure.

The Celtic and Roman Museum in the evening light in Manching, Germany on a Tuesday in November.  22, 2022.

The Celtic and Roman Museum in the evening light in Manching, Germany on a Tuesday in November. 22, 2022.
(Armin Weigel/dpa via AP)

Rupert Gebhard, head of the Bavarian State Archaeological Collection in Munich, estimated the value of the treasure at about 1.6 million euros ($1.65 million). “The archaeologists hope that the coins will remain in their original state and reappear at some point,” he said, adding that they are well documented and would be difficult to sell.

“The worst case scenario, meltdown, would mean a total loss for us,” he explained, noting that the material value of the gold itself would be only about 250,000 euros at current market prices.

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The Manching theft is just the latest in a series of museum heists that plagued Germany in recent years.

In November 2019, robbers raided the Green Vaults of Dresden, one of the greatest collections of treasures in Europe. The estimated value of the jewelry stolen during this heist is over $100 million. Six Germans accused of involvement in the robbery appeared in court in January this year.

Prior to this, in March 2017, the “Big Maple Leaf”, a gold coin believed to be the second largest in the world, was stolen from Berlin Bode Museum.

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Authorities were unable to recover items stolen in any of the robberies.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.