Man arrested trying to steal Magna Carta from UK cathedral

A man has been arrested after he allegedly tried to steal Magna Carta from Salisbury Cathedral

Salisbury's 1215 copy of the legal document is the best-surviving of one of just four versions of the text, which placed limits on the powers of the monarch, asserted that nobody is above the law, as well as guaranteeing the right to a fair trial.

Alarms were activated when an attempt was made on Thursday evening to smash the glass box containing the priceless medieval charter.

The Magna Carta is a charter of rights agreed by King John of England in 1215.

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

But, with its display case damaged, the cathedral said the Magna Carta will be taken out of public view for the moment.

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.

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The authorities have called on witnesses to report to the police with any information on the incident.

Officers added the suspect has been taken to Melksham police station where he is being questioned.

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

Police are appealing for witnesses to come forward.

A statement from the cathedral said the Magna Carta has been removed from display "for the time being" and apologised to visitors.

Salisbury Cathedral has been in the news recently because two Russians accused of carrying out the nerve agent attack on ex-spy Sergei and Yulia Skripal claimed during a TV interview in September that they had travelled to Salisbury to see its "famous cathedral", not to poison anyone.

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