09:04 GMT23 January 2021
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    According to Europol, the sale of stolen art and historical objects is the third-largest illegal market in Europe, its exact scope unknown.

    A church bell weighing about half a tonne has been stolen from the Bromma parish.

    The historical "Little Bell" at Bromma Church dates back to 1638 and rang out for locals for several hundred years. While damaged in a fire in the 1970s, it has been preserved for its historical value.

    For the past ten years, the bell, which had a irreparable crack, has been placed outside the church, from where it is believed to have been stolen.

    "It is quite deplorable that it is gone. It is an important part of our history", Torbjörn Gustavsson, pastor of the Bromma parish, told the newspaper Aftonbladet.

    It is not known who may have stolen the 500-kilogram bell, but according to the pastor, the thieves must have used some kind of aid, due to its sheer weight.

    "At first I thought someone had rolled it off for a while, but when I looked at it closer, I realised that was impossible. I don't really know what metals it is made of, but it is not pure copper. But it is quite solid, so it probably required some kind of machine to lift it", he mused.

    According to Torbjörn Gustavsson, there are no traces of the perpetrators around the area where the bell was located.

    The theft has since been reported to the police.

    According to Europol, the sale of stolen art and historical objects is the third-largest illegal market in Europe. How much money is traded annually, remains unknown. On average, 25,000 historical items are seized each year by police around Europe.

    Bromma is a district in Greater Stockholm. It is known as one of the city's richer boroughs.

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    theft, church, Scandinavia, Sweden
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