A Dutch man is facing charges for the 2019 theft of Roman coins from a German museum.
In November 2019, a group of men broke into the Rhineland State Museum, one of the largest archaeological museums in Germany. According to the police report, the men entered the museum by climbing the scaffolding and opening the window from outside. The objective was to steal the Trier Gold Hoard, a large collection of ancient gold coins. However, they discovered that the collection was protected by a reinforced glass panel which they were unable to open. Attempts to break it set off the alarm. While two thieves were able to flee, the third was apprehended by security.
The Trier Gold Hoard is one of the most archaeologically significant findings from the Roman era. It was found in the city of Trier, one of the most important cities of the ancient Roman empire. The collection of 25,000 gold coins are estimated to be worth $11.9 million today. It is one of the most impressive collections in the Rhineland museum. The hoard, which might have been hidden there during the civil war in 196 AD, was discovered during excavations in 1993.
The attempted robbery became a scandal in Germany, where art institutions were already being accused of lax security. In 2017 the Big Maple Leaf was stolen from the Berlin Bode Museum, while 68 artifacts were vandalized in various German museums in 2020. Last year, Monika Grütters (Minister of State and Culture, Germany), called for better security at the museums.