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Massive horde of Celtic gold coins stolen from German museum

BERLIN — A huge hoard of ancient gold coins dating back to about 100 B.C. has been stolen from a museum in southern Germany, police said Tuesday.

Bavarian state police said it was stolen early Tuesday from the Celtic and Roman Museum in Manching, 60 kilometers (37 miles) north of Munich.

The 483 coins were discovered in 1999 during excavations of an ancient settlement in Manchning and are believed to be the largest hoard of Celtic gold found in the 20th century.

The German news agency dpa reported that the authorities estimated the value of the coins, which together weighed about 4 kilograms, at several million euros.

“The loss of the Celtic treasure is a disaster,” it quoted Bavarian Science and Arts Minister Markus Blume. “As proof of our history, the gold coins are irreplaceable.”

He said the thieves had displayed “incredible criminal energy”.

The police are looking for witnesses who may have seen suspicious persons in the vicinity of the museum or have other information that could lead to the recovery of the treasure.

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