A man arrested in connection with the theft of historic treasures worth more than £1 million from Arundel Castle has been released under investigation.
None of the centuries-old artefacts taken during the night-time raid at the West Sussex castle have been recovered.
The items include a set of “irreplaceable” gold rosary beads that belonged to Mary Queen of Scots.
The rosary – which police say has little intrinsic value as metal – were carried with Mary to her execution in 1587.
Sussex Police confirmed on Wednesday that a 45-year-old man arrested in Eckington, Worcestershire, on Tuesday morning has been released under investigation.
It comes after officers conducted eight warrants at addresses in Worcestershire, Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire and six other men were also arrested in relation to other offences.
The collection, valued at more than £1 million, comprised: Mary Queen of Scots’s rosary beads, seven gold/silver-gilt coronation cups (George II, George III, George IV, William IV, George V, George VI and Elizabeth II), gold Earl Marshal’s baton, gold and enamel baton, other miscellaneous items including 10 silver-gilt apostle spoons, a silver-gilt casket with hunting and fishing scenes, and a silver-gilt mug.
Staff were alerted to the break-in at 10.30pm on Friday May 21 after a burglar alarm went off and police were scrambled to the scene.
A 4×4 saloon car was later found burnt out and abandoned.
Detective Inspector Alan Pack, of Sussex Police, said: “Our investigation into the Arundel Castle burglary remains live and this action marks a significant step in our inquiries.
“I would encourage anyone with further information about this burglary to contact us and also remind people that the insurers have offered a substantial reward should any of the property be recovered intact.
“You can also contact us either online or by calling 101, quoting Operation Deuce.”