Man Arrested For Trying To Steal Magna Carta From Salisbury Cathedral

A copy of the Magna Carta is kept at Salisbury Cathedral

A photo provided by the Wiltshire Police shows a glass case holding one of four original copies of the Magna Carta, which was damaged by an alleged would-be thief at Salisbury Cathedral, England, on October 25, 2018.

The small English cathedral city of Salisbury at the center of an global investigation into the Novichok poisonings is once again in the spotlight.

Magna Carta 1215 is the best surviving copy of one of Britain's most influential legal documents, and is on permanent display at Salisbury Cathedral. The Magna Carta, Latin for Great Charter, is credited as being one of the first documents to limit the power of the crown.

The suspect, whom police have not publicly identified other than to say he's 45 years old, was arrested for attempted theft, possessing "an offensive weapon" and inflicting criminal damage.

A spokeswoman for the cathedral said: "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".

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Police called for eyewitnesses to contact them by dialling 101 and quoting crime reference number 541800101438.

He is being held at Melksham police station, where he is being questioned by officers. The cathedral said in a written statement that its copy of the vaunted document, considered a cornerstone of modern democracy and a primary influence on America's Founding Fathers, would be back on display as soon as possible.

"We are very grateful to all who dealt with the situation so swiftly and effectively", she said.

A man was arrested for stealing an original Magna Carta, one of the most important documents in history, from a cathedral in southern England.

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