Last Monday’s national holiday commemorated the violent death of St. Wenceslas, the patron saint of the Czech state. Now an artifact said to have contained precious bone fragments of the martyred Bohemian duke has reportedly been stolen from a chapel in Prostějov near Olomouc.
According to iDnes.cz, the Prostejov police department announced that the relic has been missing from the Roman Catholic church since Saturday, September 19. A search is currently underway for the ornate box which is approximately 35 centimeters tall and made of gilded metal.
It is believed that the thieves thought the religious relic was crafted from a more precious material, such as gold. The value of the object is estimated at 60,000 CZK.
The artifact is nevertheless viewed as priceless by the church and, said a representive of the Olomouc Archdiocese, its disappearance is a “spiritual loss”.
News of the morbid theft has even made international headlines, appearing in the UK’s Daily Mail.