Thieves have stolen a hoard of Celtic coins worth several million euros from a German museum after apparently disrupting local telephone and internet connections.
Employees at the museum in Manching discovered on Nov. 22 that a “showcase was broken” and the collection of 450 coins had been stolen, local police told AFP.
“They cut off the whole of Manching,” the mayor, Herbert Nerb, told the Sueddeutsche Zeitung. “The museum is actually a high-security location. But all the connections to the police were severed.”
“Professionals were at work here,” Nerb added. The disappearance of the treasure was a “complete catastrophe” for the Bavarian town, he said.
The collection of gold coins has been a highlight of the Celtic and Roman museum in Manching. Discovered in 1999, the coins date back to the 3rd century B.C. and have a value of “several million euros,” according to police
“The loss of the Celtic treasure is a disaster,” Bavaria’s minister of science and arts, Markus Blume, told German news agency dpa. “As a testament to our history, the gold coins are irreplaceable.”
Police are appealing for witnesses who might have seen suspicious individuals near the museum or have other information that could lead to the recovery of the treasure.
The coin theft is the latest in a series of high-profile museum heists in Germany.
In another numismatic robbery, the “big maple leaf,” considered the world’s second-largest gold coin, was snatched from Berlin’s prestigious Bode museum in 2017.
Thieves also took 21 pieces of jewelry and other valuables in a brazen night-time raid on the Green Vault museum in Dresden’s Royal Palace in November 2019.