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Police hunt as the mythical Holy Grail stolen from home.

Byline: EXCLUSIVE Jeanette Oldham

A MAJOR police hunt is underway after burglars raided a Midland home and stole a priceless religious artefact - said to be the mythical Holy Grail.

The Nanteos Cup, an ancient wooden chalice, was rumoured to have been carried over to Britain by Joseph of Arimathea, years after the crucifixion of Christ.

The revered Catholic figure later founded a religious settlement at Glastonbury and legend has it that the ''grail'' then came into the safekeeping of monks.

Over the centuries the mysterious wooden bowl was said to have magical healing powers and in later years it came into the ownership of the Steadman family, who kept it in a bank vault in Wales.

But the Mail has discovered the cup has now been stolen by burglars after being temporarily loaned to a seriously ill woman connected to the Steadman family.

Raiders struck after she had been admitted to hospital and stole the cup - sparking a major police investigation by West Mercia Police.

It is understood burglars struck at the property in Weston under Penyard, near Ross-on-Wye, between last Monday and yesterday.

The cup was previously included in a Channel Five documentary called Search for the Holy Grail. In the programme, experts claimed it was actually made at least 1,400 years after the crucifixion.

But the cup has a long held reputation for healing, with people drinking from it in the hope of curing their illnesses.

The Holy Grail has been a issue of controversy and debate amongst historians and theologians - with some religious figures claiming the grail is actually the Holy Chalice, used by Jesus Christ at the Last Supper.

The search for the mythical religious artefact was the plot for one of the 1980s' biggest blockbusters, Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade.

Last night, a spokeswoman for West Mercia Police said officers were investigating a burglary at a home in Under Penyard.

"The home was broken into between 9.30am on Monday, July 7, and 9.30am on Monday, July 14.

"A wooden cup/chalice, known as the Nanteos cup, has been reported as stolen from the hope. It is dark wood cup and was kept in a blue velvet bag.

"Anyone with any information about the burglary is asked to call West Mercia Police on 101, quoting incident number 146s of July 14.

"You can also give information, without giving your name, by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or by visiting their website www.crimestoppers-uk.org."

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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Jul 16, 2014
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