Celtic coins worth millions stolen in Bavarian museum heist

Celtic coins worth millions stolen in Bavarian museum heist

A museum in Bavaria has been robbed of Celtic gold coins worth millions of euros after thieves sabotaged internet and communications in the town ahead of the heist.

Celtic gold coins robbed from German museum

On Tuesday morning employees at a museum in Manching, a small town in Bavaria, found that a glass display case had been smashed. 450 Celtic gold coins are now missing from the Roman-Celtic museum, said to be worth several million euros.

Under the cloak of darkness during the early hours of Tuesday, the robbers were in and out of the museum in just nine minutes, entering at 1.26am and fleeing via an escape door at 1.35am. Though the break in times were recorded by the museum alarm, the system could not alert authorities due to the thieves sabotaging a distribution node 1 kilometre away.

According to the AFP news agency, the police are yet to reveal who they believe may be behind the heist, which targeted one of the museum's star exhibits. The coins, known more specifically as rainbow cup coins, date back to the third century and were found in 1999 at the site of the Oppidum of Manching, a Celtic settlement.

Speaking to the AFP, Bavaria's minister of science and arts, Markus Blume, called the heist a disaster. "As a testament to our history, the gold coins are irreplaceable,'' he said.

Thieves sabotaged local communications systems

Emergency services in Manching quickly figured out that the thieves' heist was aided by a cunning plan to sabotage communication systems for the town’s local internet and telephones. NTV reported that during the time of the heist, 13.000 houses and businesses had their communications services cut. Speaking to the Süddeutsche Zeitung, Mayor Herbert Nerb explained that the robbers had “cut off the whole of Manching. The museum is actually a high-security location,” Nerb emphasised, “but all the connections to the police were severed.”

The Celtic coins of Manching are not the only exhibit to have fallen victim to a German heist recently. In 2019 a 22-year-old man stole a collection of priceless jewels from the Green Vault at the Royal Palace in Dresden. The gold, diamond and ruby decorated treasures were worth 113,9 million euros. The heist was linked to organised crime networks in Berlin.

Thumb image credit: Marcin Wos /

Olivia Logan


Olivia Logan



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