https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jun/26/hoax-devil-coins-found-in-bath-abbeyHoax 'devil coins' found in Bath Abbey
Two “devil coins” that were hidden in Scandinavian churches as part of an elaborate hoax in the 1970s have been discovered in the unlikely setting of Bath Abbey.
Dusty odds and ends, including an order of service from 1902, were found in the abbey when stalls were removed for restoration work.
The most intriguing discovery, however, was two coins bearing a picture of Satan and the legend Civitas Diaboli on one side and 13 Maj Anholt 1973 on the other.
Experts figured out the coins were linked to the story of a Danish eccentric who perpetrated an elaborate 40-year hoax that was only discovered almost a decade after his death.
The date on the coins refers to an episode that took place on the island of Anholt, between Denmark and Sweden, in May 1973.
Thirteen “ritual sites” were discovered by residents that prompted an investigation by police from the Danish mainland.
Police puzzled over the meaning of the sites, where items included strange masks, weird stone formations, bones wrapped in string, black candles and a (fake) shrunken head on a stake. The story was picked up by the Danish national media and salacious stories of satanic cults on Anholt abounded.
Coins like those found at Bath Abbey began to be discovered in churches and museums across Denmark. Some were accompanied by letters claiming to be from a satanic high priestess named Alice Mandragora.
In 2013, the Danish newspaper Politiken ran a six-part investigation into the coin phenomenon, revealing that the Anholt mystery was a hoax perpetrated by Knud Langkow, an office clerk at the National Gallery of Denmark who died in 2004, aged 73.
What's your artifact doing in Boss Kean's ditch?
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