Gold Medals Restored After Theft at Maritime Museum

Two stolen gold medals from the Maritime Museum sustained irreversible damage, valued at €400,000. Justin Mallia, 25, stole the medals to settle debts but was arrested before selling them. Mallia denies aggravated theft and possession of government property. The rare medals hold historical significance to Malta's liberation from France in 1800-1801.
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Two valuable gold medals stolen from the Maritime Museum in Malta were found to have sustained irreversible damage, as stated in court on Thursday. The suspect, Justin Mallia, allegedly stole the medals to settle debts but was arrested before he could sell them. Mallia denies charges of aggravated theft, possession of stolen government property, and defrauding the museum. He had been granted bail just days before the theft occurred.

The medals, awarded between 1800 and 1801 for liberation efforts against France, are rare and historically significant. Mallia initially admitted to stealing them to pay off a debt but later retracted his statement. He had posed as an education department official to gain access to the museum during a school event. CCTV footage identified him, leading to his arrest and recovery of the medals.

The case is ongoing, with prosecutors and defense counsel involved. The Maritime Museum, which recently reopened after four years, houses valuable historical artifacts. The building itself has a rich history, having been used as a bakery for the British Mediterranean Fleet before being converted into a museum in 1992.

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