Man arrested after Magna Carta historic heist attempt

A copy of the Magna Carta is kept at Salisbury Cathedral

Salisbury's 1215 copy of the legal document is the best-surviving of one of just four versions of the text, which placed limits on the powers of the monarch, asserted that nobody is above the law, as well as guaranteeing the right to a fair trial.

The suspect was arrested on suspicion of attempted theft, possession of an offensive weapon and criminal damage.

He used a hammer to break the box and tried to destroy the document as well, local media said.

"We are very relieved that no one was hurt during the incident and that the Magna Carta itself is undamaged".

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II unveils a plaque at Runnymede, England, during a commemoration ceremony Monday June 15, 2015, to celebrate the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta.

The 45-year-old suspect walked into Salisbury Cathedral at around 5 p.m. Thursday and smashed a hole in the case holding the influential document, the Salisbury Journal reported. Police said he remained in custody.

"The Magna Carta has not been damaged and nobody was injured in the incident".

Anyone with information should call Wiltshire Police on 101 quoting the crime reference number 541800101438.

She added that the Magna Carta would not be available to visitors but the cathedral aimed to have it back on display as soon as possible.

The 1215 Great Charter, or Magna Carta, is a key document in the history of the development of liberty in the Anglophone world and is particularly revered in its native United Kingdom and the United States, where it is regarded by some a historic forerunner to the Declaration of Independence.

"We are very grateful to all who dealt with the situation so swiftly and effectively".

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