Thieves stole 21 ancient human skulls from the basement of a church in Kent, U.K. – National

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Twenty-one historical human skulls have been stolen from the basement of a church within the British county of Kent.

St. Leonard’s Church, situated within the city of Hythe, is famend for its huge assortment of historical skulls, lots of that are put up on show within the church’s ossuary, or bone chamber.

However earlier this week, thieves armed with a bolt-cutter broke into the ossuary and swindled 21 skulls from the show, Kent On-line reported. The skulls are believed to be round 700 years outdated.

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Rev. Andrew Sweeney, the priest-in-charge on the church, mentioned the crime appeared to have been dedicated by skilled thieves quite than mischievous youngsters or youngsters.

“These folks got here with the best tools to interrupt the gate,” Sweeney advised Kent On-line. “We consider they got here particularly for the skulls. They didn’t take cash from inside, and there was no vandalism. They only took the human skulls and left.”

Sweeney mentioned he was involved the act of skulduggery might have been motivated by a want to promote the stays on the black market.

“We’ve at all times assumed human decency in our guests and compassion for these whose stays relaxation in peace within the sacred area of our church. We’re saddened that the greed, selfishness or stupidity of some folks has destroyed that assumption of frequent human values,” Sweeney wrote in a weblog submit. “We’ve now needed to resort to costly and sophisticated safety measures which we as soon as thought pointless.”

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Authorities are asking the general public to come back ahead with any info on the macabre theft.

“We acknowledge that is maybe an uncommon theft, however these skulls weren’t free for the taking,” mentioned Inspector Maxine Harris. “They are a part of an essential assortment, and we’re eager to see them again of their rightful place within the crypt.”

The ossuary contained some 1,022 skulls previous to Monday’s theft, in response to the St. Leonard’s Church’s web site.

The skulls have been the topic of a number of forensic and anthropological research, with researchers concluding that they belong to Hythe residents from completely different walks of life quite than predominantly conflict lifeless or slain Danish pirates, as has beforehand been theorized.

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Lots of the skulls had been dug up from space graveyards within the 15th century, probably to make room for the hordes of people that died throughout the Nice Plague, in response to the BBC.

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