This is going to take a lot of time on the couch for certain thieves in London. The men attempted to steal of 4th Century BC Greek urn holding the ashes of the founder of psychoanalysis and his wife at a crematorium in London. In the process, they severely damaged a 2,400-year-old urn.
The urn was a present one of Freud’s close friends — Princess Marie Bonaparte, great grandniece of Napoleon, who herself became a psychoanalyst. She also helped the Freud family escape from Vienna in 1938 from the Nazis. It depicts Dionysus, the Greek god of wine and ecstasy and was used to house his ashes upon his death in September 1939.
It appears that on New Year’s Eve, burglars tried to steal the urn by removing it from the plinth shown above. Freud studied these urns (and had more than 2,000 largely Egyptian, Greek and Roman objects) in working out his theories related to the human personality.
In the United States, there are a host of possible charges from burglary to property damage to destruction of human remains or ashes.
Of course for these these bundling burglars, Freud left some hope when he said “From error to error one discovers the entire truth.”