Man held on suspicion of trying to steal Magna Carta – REGIONAL

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A man has been arrested after a person attempted to steal the Magna Carta. 

The 45-year-old has been arrested on suspicion of attempted theft after police were called to Salisbury Cathedral yesterday (October 25). 

Magna Carta. Picture: Barry Batchelor/PA Wire

Magna Carta. Picture: Barry Batchelor/PA Wire

Wiltshire Police say that shortly before 5pm yesterday alarms were activated at the cathedral after an attempt was made to smash the glass box surrounding the Magna Carta. 

Staff were alerted and police were called. 

A man matching the description given by witnesses was arrested on suspicion of attempted theft, possession of an offensive weapon and criminal damage, and has been taken to Melksham custody for questioning where he remains.

The Magna Carta has not been damaged and nobody was injured in the incident. 

What is the Magna Carta? 

Signed on June 12, 1215, the Magna Carta Libertatum  – Medieval Latin for ‘the Great Charter of the Liberties’ – was a charter of rights signed by King John of England in Windsor. 

The charter was created to make peace between the King and rebel barons. 

It brought protection of church rights, access to swift justice, and limitations on feudal payments to the Crown. 

Four copies of the document remain in existence – one in Salisbury, one in Lincoln Cathedral and two in British library. 

Witness appeal

Wiltshire police say that they are aware there were a number of witnesses to the incident who may not have spoken to police.

If this was you, please get in touch via 101 and quote crime reference number 541800101438.