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Celtic gold coins stolen from German museum in stunning heist

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A large amount of ancient Celtic gold coins were stolen from the Celtic and Roman Museum in Manching, Germany, on Tuesday, according to Bavarian state police. Authorities estimate the combined value of the coins, about 4 kilograms (8.8 pounds), at over $1 million.

Bavarian Minister of Science and Arts Markus Blum told German news agency dpa: “The loss of a Celtic treasure is a disaster. “Gold coins are irreplaceable as a token of our history.”

The 483 coins were first discovered in 1999 at an ancient Celtic settlement known as Oppidum of Manchin. Archaeologists quickly realized just how sensational the find was. The coin represents the largest Celtic gold discovery of the 20th century. This treasure is also the subject of ongoing academic research into Celtic trade networks.

The largest Celtic gold discovery of the 20th century was discovered near Manchin in 1999.
(Photo by Frank Mächler/dpa via Getty Images)

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of Süddeutsche Zeitung reported The circumstances of the robbery came straight out of a Hollywood movie.

The robbery reportedly lasted just nine minutes.

“The museum is actually a place of high security. “Professionals worked here.”

Police are seeking witnesses who may have seen a suspicious person near the museum or have other information that could lead to the retrieval of the treasure.

The Celtic and Roman Museum in Manchin, Germany, Tuesday, November 22, 2022.

The Celtic and Roman Museum in Manchin, Germany, Tuesday, November 22, 2022.
(dpa via Armin Weigel/AP)

Rupert Gebhardt, head of the Bavarian State Archaeological Collection in Munich, estimated the treasure’s value at around €1.6 million ($1.65 million). “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. added.

“The worst option, a meltdown, would mean a complete loss for us,” he explained, noting that the material value of gold itself would only amount to around €250,000 at current market prices.

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The Manchin theft is just the latest in a string of museum robberies that have plagued Germany in recent years.

In November 2019, thieves robbed Dresden’s Green Vault, one of Europe’s largest collections of treasures. The estimated value of the jewels stolen in that robbery is over $100 million. Her six Germans accused of being involved in the robbery went on trial in January this year.

Earlier in March 2017, the world’s second-largest gold coin, the “Big Maple Leaf,” was stolen from Berlin’s Bode Museum.

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Authorities have been unable to recover any stolen items from either robbery.

Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

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