It was one of the criminal cases of the year: unknown persons broke into the Celtic Roman Museum in Manching and stole a gold treasure worth millions. Even if the case is spectacular, the theft from a museum is not an isolated case.
Munich/Manching (dpa/lby) - 27 thefts have been reported from museums in Bavaria in the past five years. This is the result of figures from the Bavarian State Criminal Police Office (LKA) for the years 2017 to 2021. According to an LKA spokesman, there are still no figures for the current year. In 2021, seven thefts of antiques, art and sacred objects were recorded. There were four cases each in 2020 and 2019, and six each in 2018 and 2017.
This year, the theft of gold coins from Manching made the headlines. The perpetrators broke into the museum in the district of Pfaffenhofen an der Ilm, which opened in 2006, and stole the 3.7-kilogram, approximately 2,000-year-old gold treasure. It consisted mainly of coins. The pure material value was estimated at 250,000 euros. The market value for the historic coins is said to be in the millions.
After this act, the LKA spoke of outdated security technology and cameras, the images of which could only be evaluated under very difficult conditions. Then it turned out that the seized hard drives did not contain any pictures from the day of the crime.
According to the LKA, a working group of the special-purpose association, which supports the Kelten Römer Museum, should now deal with checking the security systems in the museum.
Bavaria's Minister of Arts and Science Markus Blume (CSU) has announced that a new package of measures will better protect cultural assets in the future. On the one hand, the package provides for a "review of the security facilities and concepts of all state museums and collections". In the case of objects of particularly high material value, museums should also check whether only some of the objects can be exhibited or whether individual objects can be replaced by copies. In addition, they want to use more glazing or hood showcases, especially for high-quality paintings or exhibits.
The museums are also to be given financial support in implementing the measures. Up to one million euros are to be made available from next year's budget for the protection of cultural assets in state museums. For non-governmental museums, there should also be up to one million euros from the culture fund in 2023. According to the state office for non-state museums, there are more than 1,200 museums in Bavaria that are not solely state-sponsored. This means that these museums would have an average of less than 840 euros at their disposal thanks to the new special programme.