LONDON, Jan. 15 (UPI) -- An urn containing the ashes of Sigmund Freud and his wife was smashed during a break-in at the Golders Green Crematorium in London, police said.
Staff found the damaged urn containing the remains of the renowned creator of psychoanalysis and his wife on the floor on New Year's Day, the London Evening Standard reported.
Police said the incident likely occurred during an attempted theft of the urn.
"This was a despicable act by a callous thief. Even leaving aside the financial value of the irreplaceable urn and the historical significance of to whom it related, the fact that someone set out to take an object knowing it contained the last remains of a person defies belief," Detective Constable Daniel Candler said.
A spokesman for the crematorium said the severely damaged urn had been moved to a secure location.
The crematorium security is now under review.
Freud, an Austrian neurologist, died in 1939 at the age of 83. He wife, Martha Bernays, died in 1951 at the age of 90.