A 45-year-old man has been arrested for attempting to steal the Magna Carta from Salisbury Cathedral. The alarms at the Wiltshire cathedral were sounded when a man smashed the glass box surrounding the original 1215 document. It is understood the man was a visitor and used a hammer to try break the protective case to get his hands on the historic deed.A witness said she was walking past the cathedral as the alarms went off, which prompted an evacuation. Seconds later, she saw a man get apprehended.She told the Salisbury Journal: “It looked like some men play-fighting but as they got through the gates I saw a hammer drop to the floor and one of the men kicked it into the road whilst another man held on to him.”They then held onto him with hands behind his back whilst they picked up the hammer.”A force spokeswoman told The Telegraph: “A 45-year-old man is in custody this morning arrested on suspicion of attempted theft of the Magna Carta.  “Shortly before 5pm yesterday alarms were activated at Salisbury Cathedral after an attempt was made to smash the glass box surrounding the Magna Carta. Staff were alerted and police were called.  “A man matching the description given by witnesses was arrested on suspicion of attempted theft, possession of an offensive weapon and criminal damage, and has been taken to Melksham custody for questioning where he remains.  “Housed in our exquisite Chapter House, seeing Magna Carta presented in our family friendly interactive exhibition is a highlight for many visitors. “The responsibility of owning and interpreting Magna Carta is important in shaping Salisbury Cathedral’s future objectives to this day.” “Only four copies of Magna Carta dating from 1215 have survived the ravages of time and Salisbury Cathedral is proud to be home to the best preserved original manuscript. “Elias of Dereham, priest and steward of the archbishop of Canterbury is thought to have brought Salisbury’s copy of to Old Sarum in the days following the events at Runnymede and it has remained in the Cathedral’s care ever since.”Housed in our exquisite Chapter House, seeing Magna Carta presented in our family friendly interactive exhibition is a highlight for many visitors. “The responsibility of owning and interpreting Magna Carta is important in shaping Salisbury Cathedral’s future objectives to this day.” “At the time it was the solution to a political crisis in Medieval England but its importance has endured as it has become recognised as a cornerstone of liberty influencing much of the civilized world.”Only four copies of Magna Carta dating from 1215 have survived the ravages of time and Salisbury Cathedral is proud to be home to the best preserved original manuscript. “Elias of Dereham, priest and steward of the archbishop of Canterbury is thought to have brought Salisbury’s copy of to Old Sarum in the days following the events at Runnymede and it has remained in the Cathedral’s care ever since. “The Magna Carta has not been damaged and nobody was injured in the incident.”  The document has now been removed from public display after the incident, according to the BBC. Salisbury Cathedral said in a statement: “We can confirm that at the end of the afternoon yesterday, a man attempted to break into the case which houses Magna Carta in the Cathedral’s Chapter House. “He was arrested by police shortly afterwards and taken into custody. “We are very relieved that no one was hurt during the incident and that the Magna Carta itself is undamaged. “We are very grateful to all who dealt with the situation so swiftly and effectively. “We are very sorry that, for the time being, our copy of Magna Carta will not be available to visitors and will have it back on display as soon as we can.” Salisbury Cathedral, which has been central to the Skripal poisoning case this year after Russian agents said they were visiting it’s “world-famous 132m spire”, proudly boasts of the iconic piece of history on its website.  It says: “Magna Carta (Latin for “Great Charter”) is one of the most celebrated documents in English history.”At the time it was the solution to a political crisis in Medieval England but its importance has endured as it has become recognised as a cornerstone of liberty influencing much of the civilized world. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.