US copper thieves steal sword at Lincoln tomb
US: Thieves have snatched a copper sword from the burial site
of president Abraham Lincoln, one of the most revered leaders in US
history, local media reported. The roughly three-foot (90-centimeter)
sword was brandished by the statue of a Civil War artillery officer at
the Lincoln Tomb State Historic Site, located in Springfield, Illinois.
The sword was broken off at the handle, The State Journal-Register
The theft was apparently the first since 1890, when the same sword
was stolen from the statue, the newspaper said. At that time, the sword
was made of bronze that largely came from melted-down Civil War cannons.
Four statue groupings are mounted on the terrace of Lincoln’s tomb,
each representing the artillery, cavalry, infantry and navy during the
bloody 1861-1865 conflict.
“We just cannot imagine why someone would even think about doing it,
let alone climb up the steps and actually do it,” Illinois Historic
Preservation Agency spokesman Dave Blanchette told Journal-Register.
Four flights of steps lead to the terrace, which features a cordon of
37 shields that each bear the name of a state that made up the Union
when the site was originally built in 1869-1874.
The thieves probably went to work after the cemetery where Lincoln’s
tomb is located closed for the day, according to Blanchette.