Convent thief only gets part of a €250,000 religious artifact

The thief who tried to steal a rare and valuable religious artifact from the Catharijn convent museum in Utrecht on Tuesday only got away with part of the object, police said on Wednesday.

The thief smashed the glass of the case where the monstrance – an ornate medieval vessel used in Catholic churches to display communion wafers – was kept and then became embroiled in a tussle with security guards.

They managed to grab back the bag containing part of the haul, but the thief made off with part of the monstrance, which was made of gilded silver and encrusted with diamonds.

Police will not say what part of the item the thief managed to steal. He made his getaway on a moped.

The value of the monstrance, which is currently on loan at the convent for a special exhibition, is put at €250,000.

A visitor to the museum managed to take a photograph of the robbery in action.

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