800-year-old stone coffin damaged by visitor who put a child in it

An 800 year-old ancient stone coffin has been damaged after a child was placed inside it for a photograph at the Prittlewell Priory Museum in England.


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SOUTHEND ON SEA, UK — An ordinary day at a museum in the UK went horribly wrong when a family's failed photo op damaged an 800-year-old coffin.

According to the BBC, on August 4, a family was visiting Prittlewell Priory Museum in Southend-on-Sea. Hoping to snap a morbid photo, the parents reportedly reached over an exhibit barrier to put their child inside an 800-year-old ancient sandstone coffin.

In the process of picture-taking, the offending family managed to knock off a chunk of the sarcophagus. The family did not say a word and fled the scene, but were caught on the museum's surveillance cameras.

According to the conservator, the coffin was found on the grounds of the monk's residence in 1921 and has been displayed in the Prittlewell Priory Museum ever since. It used to contain a skeleton that the museum says could have belonged to a senior monk, so arguably, it is a valuable artifact.

In response to the photo-op incident, Prittlewell Priory Museum's conservator Claire Reed said the staff was "shocked and upset", but added that the damage was repairable. The museum said they did not expect people to actually get into the artifacts, and they plan to completely enclose the stone coffin in the future.
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