Couple breaks 800-year-old coffin for a photo in UK Museum

KwakMin-jung 기자 Posted : 2017-08-23 17:16 Updated : 2017-08-23 17:16
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A couple thought it was a good idea to put their child in an 800-year-old coffin that is historically unique for a photo. [Courtesy of Pixabay]

Which part of "Do not touch" sign is hard to understand? A family decided to ignore a sign that said do not touch museum artifacts beyond the roped area and broke a historical artifact that is not replaceable.

An 800-year-old sandstone coffin in Prittlewell Priory Museum in Southend, Essex is a "historically unique" artifact. It was found with a senior monk in it in 1921 from the 13th century Cluniac Priory of St. Mary grounds. The prized find was placed behind a clear plastic barrier for museum visitors to visually appreciate it. 

On August 4, it was particularly busy for the museum and the staffs were occupied. Then a "staff heard a thump and that was the first indication something had happened", the museum conservator Claire Reed told the BBC, a UK news media.

A couple decided it was a good idea to put their child in the ancient coffin to take a photo and damaged it. The coffin cracked in the center and a chunk fell off from the front section.

[Courtesy of BBC / Twitter]

After damaging the coffin, the family ran out of the museum without reporting the incident to the staffs, however, the whole thing was caught on CCTV.

The staffs at the museum were "shocked and upset" over the incident. Reed said, "It was one of those isolated, terrible incidents. It's a very important artifact and historically unique to us as we don't have much archaeology from the priory."

Fortunately, the coffin can be repaired so once the repair work is completed, the coffin will return to its display area. 

The museum expressed their gratitude as ever since the incident, they received the outpouring support from the locals and visitors. It is unclear if the couple has been identified and charged. 

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