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Man accused of trying to steal Magna Carta from Salisbury Cathedral released on bail

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A man who was arrested on suspicion of attempting to steal the Magna Carta from Salisbury Cathedral has been released on bail, police say.

The 45-year-old was accused of trying to smash a glass box that contains the Medieval document dating to 1215.

Alarms were activated at the cathedral and the police were called shortly before 5pm on Wednesday.

Wiltshire Police said on Saturday that the man had been bailed until 20 November as officers continue their investigation.

Cathedral employees wrestled a hammer-wielding man to the ground on Thursday after he attempted to smash the glass and steal the treasured manuscript from the Chapter House of the building.

A second layer of glass prevented the document from being damaged. Nobody was hurt.

Salisbury Cathedral’s Magna Carta is one of four existing specimens of the 1215 charter that established the principle that the king is subject to the law.

It is considered the founding document of English law and influenced the creation of the US constitution.

Police previously said in a statement that the man had been arrested on suspicion of attempted theft, possession of an offensive weapon and criminal damage.

The document is kept in a glass box in Salisbury Cathedral. File Pic
Image:
The document is kept in a glass box in Salisbury Cathedral. File Pic

An American tourist from Louisiana reportedly helped capture the suspect, saying he held him to the ground until police arrived.

Matt Delcambre told The Sun newspaper: “I just had to stop him.

“I couldn’t let him get away with it.

“The Magna Carta is one of the most important documents in the world.”

He said he and his wife were sightseeing in the English city when a man tried to shatter the glass encasing the manuscript after a fire alarm was set off.

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