• Sweden edition
 
Royal regalia heist shocks Swedish church

Royal regalia heist shocks Swedish church

Published: 04 May 2013 12:02 GMT+02:00
Updated: 04 May 2013 12:02 GMT+02:00

Cathedral chaplain Johan Sköld was "upset and shocked" after learning of the burglary, which was discovered by a member of staff who opened the cathedral on Friday morning.

The thieves entered the cathedral by breaking a window.

"It is a great loss and not only for this church since it concerns a Swedish king. What happened is terribly sad," Sköld told local newspaper Vestmanlands Läns Tidning (VLT).

Johan III, the son of King Gustav Vasa, died in 1592. The stolen items - a bronze crown and sceptre and a gilded wooden apple - were kept by the grave of Erik XIV, the half-brother of King Johan III who was buried without regalia in Västerås in 1577. King Gustav III arranged for the sceptre and crown, which had been used in King Johan III's funeral procession, to be moved to Västerås in 1800 and placed by the grave of Erik XIV.

"It is impossible to sell these things," said Kenneth Mandergrehn of Sweden' National Bureau of Investigation (Rikskriminalpolisen).

"Anyone in the business who is offered to buy the items will react immediately," said Mandergrehn, who specializes in crimes against cultural heritage. He explained that funeral regalia, which are copies of national regalia, are probably not of interest to collectors.

"Church thefts usually involve Catholic items that are stolen and sold abroad. These items do not fall within that category," said Mandergrehn.

"They are invaluable as symbols of a previous Swedish monarch. Their sentimental value cannot be measured," said Sköld.

"It is a great loss to us all. This is part of our cultural heritage. We are working intensely with improving security but at the same time these items should be accessible to everyone. It is a tough balancing act," said John Rothlind, chief conservationist at the Swedish Church in Västerås.

Thomas Gustafsson of the regional Västmanland police force said a nationwide alert had been issued. "These things are so special that most people should react if they surface. We have notified all police stations in Sweden," said Gustafsson.

Local police said they would also investigate whether the burglars were caught on surveillance cameras.

Funeral regalia were traditionally used in royal burials in Sweden to symbolize the deceased royal's identity and social stature. They were placed inside or on top of the coffin. A second set of golden regalia used in Johan III's funeral is still kept in Uppsala.

The stolen sceptre and crown, which are made of bronze and have silver details, were produced in the Netherlands in the sixteenth century. The gilded wooden apple was made in the nineteenth century. All three items lay on a wooden pillow, which was also stolen on Thursday night.

Other sets of royal funeral regalia are kept in the Strängnäs, Uppsala and Stockholm.

TT/The Local/nr

Follow The Local on Twitter

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Songs for a hot Swedish summer
Ted Gärdestad. Photo: TT

Songs for a hot Swedish summer

Contributor Paul Connolly has put together a list of Swedish songs to capture balmy summer days, which in his neck of the northern woods are pushing the mercury above 35c for the first time in a century. READ  

Brit's charity tractor trek heads for Sweden
The vintage tractor ready to travel from UK to North Norway. Photo: Peter Matheson

Brit's charity tractor trek heads for Sweden

A British man is set next month to drive from Scotland, across Sweden, and to the northern tip of Norway on a vintage tractor to raise money for a cancer charity. READ  

Swedes suffer as buses boil in the summer sun
Photo: TT

Swedes suffer as buses boil in the summer sun

Stockholm's local traffic authority has received almost 300 complaints since June 1st with many regarding stifling heat on the city's buses, which lack air con. READ  

Grounded flights strand Swedes in Tel Aviv
Photo: Matt Rourke/TT

Grounded flights strand Swedes in Tel Aviv

UPDATE: About 270 passengers planning to fly to Stockholm are still stranded in Tel Aviv, and airlines have stated that flights will likely be grounded on Thursday as well. READ  

The Local List
Top ten: Swedish taboos
The butter knife is for butter. Photo: Mats Sandelin/TT

Top ten: Swedish taboos

From standing in line to taking your hols in the off-season, Sweden is a society with customs and faux pas, the Danes might say taboos. Here is a list of ten to watch out for. READ  

Fears mount for Swede kidnapped in Ukraine
A tank in Horlivka. Photo: Dmitry Lovetsky/TT

Fears mount for Swede kidnapped in Ukraine

A mediator who handles prisoner exchanges between Ukraine and pro-Russian rebels said on Wednesday that he feared for the life of a kidnapped Swede. READ  

Vattenfall cuts losses despite 'tough market'
Photo: TT

Vattenfall cuts losses despite 'tough market'

Swedish power group Vattenfall said on Wednesday that second quarter losses had been cut despite trying market conditions, forecasting that energy prices were unlikely to recover in the "foreseeable future". READ  

Swedes 'most beautiful' in the Nordics
Swedish actors Peter Johansson, Anna Sahlin and Måns Zelmerlöw. Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

Swedes 'most beautiful' in the Nordics

Who is the fairest of them all? Swedes are, according to the rest of the Nordic nations in a recent survey. READ  

My Swedish Career
American teams up with Swede to beat cancer
Matthew Volsky holding the Gynocoular colposcope which is used for screening cervical cancer. Photo: Gynocoular

American teams up with Swede to beat cancer

When Matthew Volsky first came to Sweden he didn't think he would stick around. Six years and a pioneering invention later he tells The Local about the medical device which is helping save lives around the world. READ  

Swedish organic sales enjoy 'amazing' growth
Arla organic milk. Photo: Björn Larsson Rosvall/TT

Swedish organic sales enjoy 'amazing' growth

Swedes are spending more and more of their food budget on organic foodstuffs, with major supermarkets reporting double digit increases, according to new statistics. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Swedish cops elect not to shoot 'angry elks'
Business & Money
New alcohol retail rules threaten micro-breweries
Gallery
People-watching Båstad
Business & Money
Sweden falls to third in global innovation index
Society
Swedish ornithologists keep webcam watch
Blog updates

22 July

Det (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! “Det” is a personal pronoun that can be used in many ways, and it might me confusing if you always translate “det” to English “it”. In this article I will do my best to guide you to how to use “det”. Det replacing a word, a phrase or a clause Let us begin with the less confusing..." READ »

 

22 July

PROTECTING GIRLS FROM ABUSE OF THEIR RIGHTS (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"Today (22 July) my Prime Minister, David Cameron, and UNICEF, are hosting the world’s first #GirlSummit in London. The Summit’s aim is to mobilise domestic and international efforts to end the appalling practices of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and Child Early Forced Marriage (CEFM). This is a high priority for the UK government and the Prime..." READ »

 
 
 
Photo: Andreas Nordström/Image Bank Sweden
Gallery
Top ten Swedish beach hot spots
Tech
Swedish Wiki vet sets new content record
Photo: Fastighetsbyrån
Lifestyle
In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week
Photo: Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching July 15-16
Photo: Ola Ericson/Image Bank Sweden
Society
What's On in Sweden
Photo: Lisa Mikulski
National
Hope springs eternal for expat pet shop owner
Gallery
Princess Estelle steals limelight at mum's birthday
National
Swedes risk infants' lives by covering up prams
National
Swede runs for office just using Bitcoin funds
Gallery
People-watching July 11-13
National
Malmö mayor slams Danish beggar ban
National
Swedish anti-abortion midwife sues county
National
Swede's salary chopped for Facebook use
National
Northern Sweden warmest in 90 years
Gallery
'Victoria Day': Crown Princess Victoria turns 37
Politics
Mona Sahlin to fight extremism in Sweden
National
EU tells Sweden to cover up snus flavours
Society
Swede snags assassin role in Tom Cruise film
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

702
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se