London: A 45-year-old man in the UK has been arrested for attempting to steal the original Magna Carta from Salisbury Cathedral, according to a media report. The alarms at the cathedral went off after the suspect smashed the glass box on Thursday surrounding the original 1215 document, the BBC reported.
The Magna Carta is a charter of rights agreed by King John of England in 1215. It is considered one of Britain’s most influential legal documents. The suspect is said to have used a hammer in an attempt to smash the glass case surrounding the priceless document at the cathedral, the report said, adding that the man was a visitor who tried to break the protective case to get his hands on the historic deed. The Magna Carta has not been damaged and nobody was injured, police said.
Officers added the suspect, who was not named, has been taken to the Melksham police station where he is being questioned. “We can confirm that at the end of the afternoon yesterday, a man attempted to break into the case which houses Magna Carta in the Cathedral’s Chapter House,” a spokeswoman for the cathedral was quoted as saying by the report.
“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.” She added that the Magna Carta would not be available to visitors but the cathedral aimed to have it back on display as soon as possible.
The Salisbury copy went on display in 2015 in the 13th-century Chapter House at the cathedral.
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