Wiltshire

Magna Carta theft attempt prompts cathedral security review

Magna Carta Salisbury Cathedral Image copyright PA
Image caption The hammer made three holes in the top layer of protective glass

Salisbury Cathedral has said it is to review its security after a man tried to steal a Magna Carta.

Alarms went off when the glass box, which protects one of the oldest surviving copies of the famous charter, was smashed with a hammer on Thursday.

A 45-year-old man was held on suspicion of attempted theft of the document and has been released on conditional bail.

A Wiltshire Police spokesman said the suspect had been bailed until 20 November and inquiries were continuing.

Salisbury Cathedral's the Very Revd Nicholas Papadopulos said: "Of course it will prompt us to have a look again at how we protect it, but it's housed in a case which we were advised to house it in.

"It is undamaged, the alarm was activated and he was detained.

"We will look again but I have no immediate concern for its security."

Image copyright PA
Image caption The Dean of Salisbury Cathedral described his staff as "courageous" after they restrained a suspect

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

It is considered one of Britain's most influential legal manuscripts.

Salisbury Cathedral's copy of the text is one of four that remain in existence from the original.

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