The sensational find of 1999 becomes the sensational robbery of 2022: over 480 gold coins have disappeared.
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The perpetrators of the Manching gold robbery stole between 1.4 and 1.9 million euros in value – divided into 483 individual coins.

The sensational find of 1999 becomes the sensational robbery of 2022: over 480 gold coins have disappeared. © Frank Mächler/dpa

During the night of Tuesday, unknown persons – so it is suspected – cut through the fiber optic lines at a telecommunications provider and thus also deactivated the museum’s alarm system.

As a result, 483 gold coins were stolen from two showcases. It took the thieves just nine minutes to break in.

As the Vice President of the State Criminal Police Office, Guido Limmer, announced on Wednesday, the outer door to the building was forced open at 1.26 a.m. and the perpetrators left the museum with their loot at 1.35 a.m.

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And with exactly this loot, the robbers managed a coup worth millions. That’s what the director of the Munich Archaeological Collection, Rupert Gebhard, calculated. Since the sale value per coin is around 3000 to 4000 euros, the value of the loot is between 1.4 and 1.9 million euros.

However, it is questionable whether the 483 coins from the largest gold find from Celtic excavations of the last century can be sold as individual exhibits.

It is therefore feared that the perpetrators could melt down the gold. The material value is then still at a quarter of a million euros. According to Gebhard, that would of course be a “total loss” from a cultural point of view.

The gold pieces were stolen from two showcases in the Celtic-Roman Museum on Tuesday night.

The gold pieces were stolen from two showcases in the Celtic-Roman Museum on Tuesday night. © Peter Kneffel/dpa

Bavaria’s Minister of Art Markus Blume (47, CSU) spoke of an “attack on our cultural heritage and also on the cultural state”.

He suspects a well-organized criminal organization is behind the robbery, since “all security precautions were breached in a very targeted manner” beforehand.

Meanwhile, the 20-strong special commission “Oppidum” is trying to collect and evaluate information in cooperation with colleagues from Berlin and Dresden.

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It cannot be ruled out that the incident is related to the theft of jewels from the Green Vault in Dresden and the coin theft from the Bode Museum in Berlin.

According to Limmer, there should at least be initial “parallels” between the cases. CSU politician Blume emphasized: “Everything indicates that there was great organization, a lot of planning and, above all, a high level of criminal energy.”

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