British police raid pub to search for the Holy Grail

British police raided a country pub this week in the UK in search of a stolen wooden relic believed to be the Holy Grail, the cup used by Jesus at the Last Supper. The Grail has captivated religious experts for centuries, spawning theories about its location and inspiring fictional accounts from the Middle Ages to the present.

The object of the search was a wooden bowl known as the Nanteos Cup that has been attributed with healing powers since the 19th century, attracting many pilgrims and others who believe it may be the Holy Grail. The search was unsuccessful.

“They turned the place upside down. They came with fiber optic cameras to look in all the corners and nooks and crannies, and under the floorboards … they were clearly serious about it,” the pub’s landlady, Di Franklyn said in a statement. Police stated that the relic had actually been stolen from a house in the area about a month ago.

“We get a few rogues and scallywags in the pub, but no one who’s quite on the level of stealing a priceless ancient artifact,” Franklyn stated.

The cup takes its name from the Nanteos Mansion, a country house in Wales where the vessel has been reportedly kept in safe hiding in 1952 after monks fleeing King Henry VIII’s dissolution of England’s monasteries sought refuge at the mansion.

The cup was said to have been brought to Britain after Jesus’ death by Joseph of Arimathea, the figure in the New Testament who provided Christ with a tomb and brought Christianity to Britain, according to many legends. Scientists say that the cup is not consistent with a 1st century Middle Eastern drinking vessel, casting doubts to its authenticity.