A stash of Celtic coins worth several million euros was stolen from a German museum in a seemingly daring raid in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
Employees at the museum in Manching later discovered that the “showcase was broken” and the entire gold coin hoard had been stolen, local police told AFP.
Investigators did not provide any other details as to the circumstances surrounding the heist, but local officials highlighted a disruption to phone and internet services.
“They cut off the whole of Manching,” mayor Herbert Nerb told the Sueddeutsche Zeitung daily.
“The museum is actually a high-security location. But all the connections to the police were severed,” Nerb said.
“Professionals were at work here,” he added.
The disappearance of the treasure is a “complete catastrophe” for the Bavarian town, Nerb said.
The collection of 450 gold coins has been a highlight of the Celtic and Roman Museum in Manching.
Discovered in 1999, the coins date back to the Third Century BC and have a value of “several million euros”, according to police.
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 jewellery and other valuables in a brazen night-time raid on the Green Vault museum in Dresden’s Royal Palace in November 2019.
Authorities believe members of a notorious criminal family carried out that robbery. There remains no trace of the jewels, which include a sword with a diamond-encrusted hilt and a shoulder piece which contains a famous 49-carat white diamond.
Insurance experts say the Green Vault loot is worth at least 113.8 million euros, with German media dubbing it the biggest art heist in modern history. ©AFP