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Man arrested trying to steal Magna Carta from UK cathedral

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Man arrested trying to steal Magna Carta from UK cathedral

The display case that held the Magna Carta
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LONDON — British police said Friday they have arrested a man suspected of trying to steal a Magna Carta from its display case at Salisbury Cathedral.

Wiltshire Police said cathedral alarms sounded Thursday afternoon when a person tried to smash the glass box surrounding the Magna Carta.

The Magna Carta granted by King John in 1215 has become an enduring symbol of the rule of law. The document on display at the cathedral is one of four surviving original Magna Cartas.

Wiltshire Police
British police said Friday they have arrested a man suspected of trying to steal a Magna Carta from its display case at Salisbury Cathedral.Wiltshire Police

Police say the Magna Carta was not damaged and no one was hurt during the incident.

The 45-year-old suspect was arrested on suspicion of attempted theft, possession of a weapon and criminal damage. He has not been identified or charged.

Police said the man matched a description given by witnesses. Officials have asked other eyewitnesses to come forward with details.

Salisbury Cathedral has been in the news recently because two Russians accused of carrying out the nerve agent attack on ex-spy Sergei and Yulia Skripal claimed during a TV interview in September that they had traveled to Salisbury to see its "famous cathedral," not to poison anyone.

In addition to the rare Magna Carta, the cathedral is known for having the tallest cathedral spire in Britain.