Man accused of attempting to steal Magna Carta from Salisbury Cathedral

A 45-year-old man was arrested Thursday on suspicion of trying to steal one of the four original copies of the Magna Carta, the BBC reported.

>> Read more trending news

Alarms at Salisbury Cathedral were triggered at 2:45 p.m. when there was attempt with a hammer to smash the glass box that holds the artifact, The Guardian reported.

The document was not damaged, the newspaper reported.

A man matching descriptions supplied by witnesses was arrested on charges of attempted theft, possession of an offensive weapon and criminal damage. Police said he remained in custody.

The Magna Carta is a charter of rights agreed to by King John in 1215. It is considered one of Britain's most influential legal documents, the BBC reported.

"Only four copies have survived the ravages of time," Salisbury Cathedral said on its website, adding that the cathedral is home to the best copy of the document.

The document, which has been at Salisbury Cathedral since 2015, was removed from its display and replaced by a facsimile, the BBC reported.

About the Author