Bring Back that Monstrance!

classic and contemporary
You may remember reading about an art theft from a museum in Rotterdam last year. Well, this past week it was Utrecht’s turn to have a museum robbed. However, instead of famous paintings, this time it was a religious artefact stolen from the Catharijne Convent Museum. The museum is home to a number of religious artworks and reliquaries, and considering the gold and jewels used in many of the pieces, it’s not surprising that someone might try to make off with one.

What is surprising is that the robbery took place during opening hours. The thief smashed the glass protecting the monstrance — a vessel used to store communion wafers — and grabbed it before security guards began struggling with the thief. In the end, the thief got away with part of the vessel, which is made of gilded silver and diamonds. A visitor to the museum actually managed to get a photo of the thief as he was running through the museum afterward with the vessel under his arm. The thief managed to get away on a moped, although it is thought that there may have been two men involved in the heist.

The monstrance, which is on long-term loan to the museum from the parish of the Holy Trinity in Amsterdam, is worth €250,000.