Thieves try to steal Sigmund Freud's ashes in London
LONDON - Agence France-Presse
This is a 1931 file photo of Sigmund Freud, father of psychoanalysis, as he poses for sculptor Oscar Nemon in Vienna. AP PhotoThieves tried to steal the ashes of Sigmund Freud, regarded as the father of modern psychoanalysis, and his wife Martha from a Jewish cemetery in London, police said Wednesday.
The ashes were contained in an ancient urn dating back to the third century BC, which was severely damaged during the attempted theft sometime around New Year's Eve.
"Between December 31 and January 1, burglars attempted to steal an urn containing the remains of Sigmund Freud and his wife Martha" from Golders Green Crematorium in northwest London, police said in a statement.
Detective Constable Daniel Chandler appealed to the public for information to identify those responsible for a crime that "defies belief".
"This was a despicable act by a callous thief," he said.
"Even leaving aside the financial value of the irreplaceable urn and the historical significance to whom it related, the fact that someone set out to take an object knowing it contained the last remains of a person defies belief." The urn was thought to be kept on a plinth in a private area, although officials at the cemetery were not immediately available for comment.
Freud grew up in Austria but fled to London in 1938 with his wife and daughter Anna when the Nazis annexed the country. He died of cancer the following year.