Melted gold lumps believed to originate from Celtic coin theft

Police in Berlin, Germany, have found lumps of melted gold believed to be from ancient gold coins stolen last fall from a German museum.

An Associated Press article reported police have arrested four suspects relating to the Nov. 22 break-in at the Celtic and Roman Museum in the Bavarian town of Manching. Stolen were 483 Celtic coins found during an archaeological dig in 1999. According to the report, some of the coins date back to 100 B.C. The discovery is considered the biggest trove of Celtic gold in the 20th century.

Guido Limmer, the deputy head of Bavaria’s state criminal police office, told reporters authorities had examined 18 gold lumps, each consisting of four of the stolen coins being melted.

“We know that about 70 gold coins have apparently been lost irretrievably in their cultural and historical significance,” Bavaria’s state culture minister Markus Blume told the Associated Press. “But that means that, of course, there is still hope of perhaps being able to find the rest of the gold coins, and so the majority of the gold treasure.”

Police said DNA found on an object outside of the museum led them to the suspects, including a telecoms engineer, an accountant, a shop manager and a demolition firm employee.

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